The Industrial Training fund (ITF) said it has trained and empowered a fresh batch of 11,000 Nigerian youths on various skills under the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP) of the agency.

The Director General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, stated this on Thursday during the closing ceremony of the trainees from Ebonyi state at the Staff Development Centre in Abakaliki, the state capital.

According to him, the trainees were trained for a period of three months on various skills, which included tailoring and fashion design, welding and fabrication and plumbing and pipefitting.

Represented by the Zonal Director in charge of South East Region, Engineer Peter Agbo, the Director said the 11,000 trainees were drawn from the 36 states of the federation.

Mr Ari said the Agency decided to give the beneficiaries startup packs to enable them set up their businesses and hit the ground running.

“The decision to provide the packs was informed by our tracking and monitoring of trainees of earlier phases which revealed that where trainees were supported with startup packs, 90 percent of the trainees went on to be successful entrepreneurs, or even employers of labour. Conversely where they were not, they were not as successful,” he said.

The DG, however, cautioned the beneficiaries not to sale the equipment given to them but to make judicious use of them.

“The startup packs are of high standard and cost the ITF millions of naira. Do not contemplate selling any of the items presented to you. Please go out and [prove to the world that the three months you endured were worthwhile. Your destiny is in your hands, do not toy with it,” Mr Ari said.

While stressing the need for unity among Nigerians, Mr Ari solicited for cooperation and assistance of various state governments and other stakeholders with the ITF to enable it achieve its mandate of developing the nation’s human resource.

In a remark, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Industry and Senator representing Ebonyi North, Dr. Sam Egwu, commended the ITF for living up to its mandate and promised the support of the Committee especially in approving the budget of the agency to enable it do more for the teaming unemployed youths of the country.

One of the beneficiaries, Anaele Ikenna, promised that the trainees will put to practice what they have been taught and strive to be good ambassadors of the agency.

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