DRIVING PROSPERITY: ITF Abeokuta Facilitates Dynamic Stakeholder Engagement For Enhanced Capacity Development 🎊 The Scoper Media

_L-R: General Manager (HR) CROWNPACK Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Chris Uzoalu; Area Manager ITF Abeokuta Area Office, Mrs. Bolanle Ajibade;Β  Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Mr.Β  Adebowale Oyejola Oyeneye; and HR Farmex Meyer Ltd, Ota, Mr. Boniface Ndubuaku, during the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Abeokuta Area Office Breakfast Meeting with Stakeholders held at Covenant University Ota …on Wednesday, 22nd February, 2024._

THE Abeokuta Area Office of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), the foremost Human Capital Development agency in Nigeria, hosted its maiden edition of the Breakfast Meeting with Stakeholders in Ota, Ogun State, on February 22nd, 2024. Themed “Building Capacity to Thrive in a Rapid Evolving Economy,” the event brought together captains of industries, representatives from government agencies, academia, and the media to discuss critical issues and opportunities in skills development for the future.

During her welcome address, Mrs. Bolanle O. Ajibade, Area Manager and Deputy Director of the ITF Abeokuta Area Office, reiterated the agency’s core mandate: to facilitate, champion, and foster skills development within the Nigerian industrial and commercial landscape.

According to her, β€œThe ITF has significantly impacted the lives of Ogun State indigenes, aiming to mitigate youth restiveness and alleviate poverty in the state. Through initiatives like the National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), Federal Government Skills Empowerment Programme (FEGOSEP), Skills Training and Empowerment Programme for the Physically Challenged (STEPP-C), Construction Skills Empowerment Programme (CONSEP), Women Skills Empowerment Programme (WOSEP), Agripreneurship Skills Empowerment Program (AGSEP) the agency has demonstrated commitment to empowering young people within the state.”

She highlighted that the ITF-National Economic Recovery Growth (ITF-NERGP) has commenced training of 100 Ogun state indigenes on Welding, Electrical, Tiling, Carpentry and Crop Production after which they will undertake internship and thereafter be certified by the relevant bodies. Through the Skill-Up Programme for Artisans (SUPA), which is an initiative of the Director General/Chief Executive of ITF, Dr. Afiz Oluwatoyin Ogun, ITF has also provided an avenue to empower Artisans with tech-enabled skills training, licensing, and access to essential toolkits, promoting industry standard excellence.

In addition, ITF is mandated to certify and licence their trade areas to qualify them to work both nationally and internationally while exposing their skills to other parts of the world, to companies in the nation through NECA and other bodies and becoming employers of labour with the support of Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments and ITF.

Mr. Adebowale Oyeneye, Permanent Secretary Bureau of Public Service, served as the guest speaker, delivering an insightful presentation on the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapidly evolving economy. He emphasised the need for investing in education systems, promoting vocational training, encouraging R&D, supporting startups and entrepreneurs, and fostering collaboration between various stakeholders to build a resilient and adaptable workforce.

The key recommendations from the discussions included: Investing in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and STEM education to prepare individuals for future job demands; Promoting vocational training programs to develop a skilled workforce aligned with industry needs; Encouraging R&D to foster innovation and technological advancements; Supporting startups and entrepreneurs through funding, mentorship, and incubators; Establishing a business-friendly environment with favourable policies and regulations; Fostering collaboration between public and private sectors, academia, and civil society; Implementing robust monitoring and evaluation to assess the effectiveness of capacity-building initiatives.

Industry leaders like Mr. Chris Uzoalu of Crownpack Ltd. and Mr. Ikmot of Honda commended the ITF for the initiative, highlighting the importance of knowledge sharing, collaboration, and continuous learning in navigating the dynamic economic landscape. They called for expanding such programs to reach a wider audience, including communities, academia, and the informal sector.

“It has been a very robust engagement, and I feel this should be done often to close the information gap between the ITF and the industry. We have come to understand that without capacity building, you can’t sustain factories and if you can’t sustain factories, you can’t sustain the community. Additionally, there is a need for training and retraining of employees, and we must take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience of expatriates brought into the country.” remarked Chris Uzoalu, General Manager (HR) CROWNPACK Nigeria Ltd.
The ITF’s Breakfast Meeting served as a valuable platform for dialogue and collaboration, bringing together key stakeholders to address the crucial issue of skills development in the face of rapid economic change. The agency’s commitment to empowering individuals and fostering a thriving industrial landscape was evident throughout the event, and the recommendations generated promise to guide future efforts in building a more skilled and adaptable workforce for Nigeria.

The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) is a statutory body of the Federal Government of Nigeria established under the Industrial Training Fund Act No. 47 of 1971 to provide, promote and encourage the acquisition of skills in industry and commerce with a view to generating a pool of indigenously trained manpower sufficient to meet the needs of the public and private sectors of the economy.

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