ITF, Youths ministry in agreement to float skills, empowerment programme

By Chris Ndibe 

The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to organise a Youths Skills Development and Entrepreneurship Programme (YOSDEP) for 23, 310 Nigerian youths. 

The youths will be drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT. 

The Director-General of the fund, Sir Joseph Ari, said at the signing ceremony  on Monday in Jos that the fund had created an impactful intervention in the economy through its various Skills Development and Entrepreneurship Programmes. 

Ari said the organisation would be collaborating with the ministry in training youths in 21 trade areas. 

He said the youths would be trained in Agro Allied, Catering, Autotronics, Welding, masonry, carpentry, plumbing, Tilling/POP, Painting and in Electrical Installation. 

Others, he said, were: Information and Communication Technology, Solid Works, Facilities Management Technology, Health and Safety, Film and Photography, Cosmetology Mechatronics and in ACDC Motor Controls. 

According to the director-general, 630 trainees will be trained from each state for a duration of three months, and that 30 beneficiaries will be trained per trade. 

He said that both the digital, green and brown field approach implementation would be implemented to ensure that the trainees were exposed to new trends in technology and with practical hands-on approach. 

He said that the fund would work with the data provided by the ministry of youths, and that it would ensure periodic feedback for effective implementation. 

Ari said that the programme would be funded by the ministry. 

The Minister for Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, who signed the MoU on behalf of his ministry, said that the mandate of the ITF and the ministry of  youths were similar as it catered for the youths. 

Dare said that the collaboration was imperative to upscale and retool the youths of the country who would in turn contribute their own quota to national development. 

Stakeholders call for quick passage of National Water Resources Bill 

Stakeholders have called for quick passage of the National Water Resources Bill to enhance irrigation scheme. 

They made the call at the South East Regional Workshop on Establishment and Strengthening of Water Users Associations (WUAs). 

In a communique issued at the end of a three-day workshop held in Enugu, they noted that the government had sent the National Water Resources Bill to the National Assembly and the document is still pending on the floor of both legislative chambers. 

They stated that the passage of the bill would strengthen the institutional framework for private sector participation in the irrigation sub-sector. 

It also called on the Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR) and River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) to empower water users for effective participation in project planning, operation, maintenance and management. 

The communique urged relevant institutions to complement WUAs with support programmes that would make irrigated agriculture profitable to farmers. 

“There is the need for capacity building of WUAs, RBDAs and other stakeholders for effective management of irrigation schemes,” it stated. 

Recall that the Permanent Secretary, FMWR, Mrs Esther Walson-Jack had during the opening ceremony of the workshop said that the event would provide solution to challenges in the irrigation sub-sector. 

Walson-Jack said that the aim was for states and local government areas as well as farmers to be integrated in the adoption and operationalisation of WUAs to increase private sector participation and investment in the sector. 

“This is in a bid to enhance competitiveness of irrigated agriculture for National Food Security and Sustainable National Development,” Walson-Jack said.