by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
In fulfilling its mandate of “promoting skills acquisition” in the country, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), in partnership with ‘Sightsavers,’ an international non-governmental organization that promotes disability rights, have trained and graduated 32 Nigerians on different skills.
The skills include computer hardware, event management, catering, phone repair, photography and poultry management.
Speaking recently in Abuja at the graduation ceremony, the ITF’s Director-General, Sir Joseph Ari, said that the agency has made the training of physically-challenged persons a priority.
According to him, among the 34 that started the training, only 2 couldn’t continue; therefore, making the graduands 32, adding that, there is a Physically-challenged Act today in Nigeria.
He therefore noted that, “As an agency that caters for the growth and development of youths and women through skills acquisition, we have decided to focus our attention on the physically-challenged so they can acquire different skills and contribute their quota to national development, because we believe there is ability in disability.”
The ITF DG, who was represented by Fund’s Kaduna Area Manager, Yahaya Manu, also charged the graduands to make good use of their start-up parks provided to them by the agency.
“Now that you have acquired these special skills, I urge you to deploy it into judicious use so you can contribute your quota to the growth and development of the country, because the ultimate aim of this training is to reduce youth unemployment, and the agency is always committed to support the physically-challenged in any capacity,” he stated.
Speaking also at the event, the Country Director of Sightsavers Nigeria, Dr. Sunday Isiyaku, disclosed that, the rationale behind their partnership with the ITF is to transform the labour market system to be disability inclusive.
“We are building the disability confidence of employers, job readiness of young persons with disabilities and supporting government agencies to ensure their programs promote disability inclusive economic empowerment.
He revealed that, they have trained hundreds of persons with disabilities on soft and digital skills, preparing and connecting them to formal job, and they decided to partner with ITF to empower the graduates today in vocational training and also prepare them for entrepreneurship.
He said the courses were carefully selected for the disability persons due to its relevance to the labour market, while admonishing the graduands to apply the knowledge they have gathered during the training to start their businesses.