The Industrial Training Fund, ITF has raised concerns that despite the improvement in skills acquisition, Nigeria is yet to be a member of the World Skills Summit, a body which gives opportunity for deliberations on skills development policies and frameworks for new age, showcases global innovations and best practices as well as guarantees platform for networking and interactions with leaders from industries and governments.
The Director-General of the ITF, Sir Joseph Ari who raised the concerns noted that before a country develops, it takes skills to build and maintain infrastructure and if Nigeria does not belong to the body, the country would be left behind in new trends in skills needed to engage in innovative competitions with other nations of the world.
Ari who spoke with journalists at the Fund’s headquarters in Jos where he unveiled the second phase of ITF reviewed vision tagged: Strategies for Mandate Actualization stressed that having known the advantage of belonging to such a body, processes have commenced to see the country registered so that it would be left in a doldrum with obsolete ideas.
While highlighting the different strategies that would be adopted to ensure the acceleration of the impartation of technical vocational skills to Nigerians and fill the skills gaps, the DG added the Fund would commercialized some of its activities to raise funds as skills development is very capital intensive and inadequate funds would definitely limit its operations.
His words, “It is a sad commentary that up till this time of our nationhood, Nigeria is not yet a member of the World Skills Summit, you cannot develop your country without skills, it takes skills to prepare the infrastructure, it takes skills to maintain the infrastructure, everything comes under the fold of skills and if you don’t belong to this world body, you won’t know about the new trends in skills development. They only sell those trends to member nations.
“Every year, they go for competitions where countries compete to show capacity in innovative skills and creative knowledge and the world decides whether yours had attained the standard required internationally. If you don’t belong to this body, you cannot go for such competitions and you remain in the dark. ITF has taken the lead that Nigeria must come out of the wood and register, if we have done this a long time ago, WD would have been a member. It is a national concern.
“Everybody that is a policy maker or a practitioner of skills development should join force with ITF to ensure that Nigeria is registered as a member of World Skills Summit. Skills development is capital intensive, it takes a lot of money to set up industrial skills training centre but we are an ambitious organization, we want to move fast and impact the Nigerian society, we are prudent with available resources that is why we are able to attain the goals we have attained so far.”