By Tongnaan Dada Bawa, Jos
The Director General of the Industrial Training Fund, (ITF) Sir Joseph Ari, has decried the situation where some Nigerians are averse to skills acquisition.
He said the attitude has to change because appropriate skill is the only thing that can save the situation and the challenges bedeviling the society.
The DG, who is also the Chief Executive officer of ITF spoke at the NUJ Press Centre in Jos, on Tuesday, while interacting with journalists, explained that his organization is working to empower Nigerians to tackle the challenging situation that we are in, especially the world has become volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.
Sir Ari, however expressed optimism that the advocacy by ITF for Nigerians to embrace is paying off gradually as other organizations, non governmental bodies public and private organizations are falling in line and also coming to cue in and realizing that the issue of skills acquisition is one central point that can take us off the streets in terms of restiveness and all the challenges, we are facing like kidnappings, robbery, unemployment, among others.
Explaining how the omicron variant of COVID-19 may likely affect his organization’s activities, he lamented the decision by the United Kingdom against Nigeria but noted ITF had embraced technological innovations that aid its operations in the recent to.
His words, “… So one thing I need to say here is that the natural environment does not believe in skills acquisition. A lot of people are averse to it. The ITF has been in the forefront of advocacy, for Nigerians to understand that that is the only thing that can save the situation and the challenges bedeviling the society. As I speak, a lot of other organizations, non governmental bodies, public and private organizations are falling in line and also coming to cue in and realizing that the issue of skills acquisition is one central point that can take us off the streets in terms of restiveness the all the challenges, we are facing kidnappings, robbery, unemployment, and so on.”
On COVID-19, he added, “I need to say that even before now, the New World Order has made it imperative for online programs to come to be and so the ITF as part of ways to handle some of these development has also veered into ICT and online programs via zoom virtual meetings with its collaborators and partners in the other world. And today, it’s very easy that you are here, and you link up to Germany to Singapore to Canada, you know, via zoom and you get what you want.
“And it was also part of what the ITF did in order to keep alive.., we rolled out nine programs online free of charge on how businesses can be run for profit to be actualized in this period of the COVID-19. So that has not hindered our relationship with international organizations, the online program provide for that. The ITF as a leading human capital development agency is already shoulders above in terms of planning the processes to be able to tackle some of these challenges.
“We have already seen the reaction of the world towards Nigeria with the emergence of Omicron which is very unfortunate that with three samples that we have gotten, we should get red and blanket alert from the United Kingdom. I think it is very unfair for Nigeria to be placed under such a red alert. But I believe that with the government cry and observation, I believe that the UK Government would rescind in its decision, because it’s going to affect a lot of prospects in the economy through travels in the entire world. Said he.
According to the ITF Boss “Nigerians are amongst those who traveled regularly and in huge volume. So it has also an effect on the economy. So I believe that with the points raised by the Honorable Minister and by implication the federal government of Nigeria suddenly will be done to lift this ban on Nigeria. Secondly, we must thank God that even with the COVID-19 Nigeria has not been badly hit like other nations, the United States of America, United Kingdom and even Europe. We thank God for that. And our our our proactive processes in combating the virus must also be commended.