Director General and Chief Executive of Industrial Training Fund, Dr Afiz Ogun,with the chairman, Correspondents’ chapel, Plateau State, Polycarp Auta.

To skill up 5m artisans yearly

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

The Director General/Chief Executive of the Industrial Training Fund, ITF, Dr. Afiz Ogun has advocated licensing of artisans in Nigeria to check quackery.

The ITF boss noted that it is saddening that jobs like tiling and others within the country are being taken over by non-Nigerians because they offer superior job quality and assured that the ITF would change the narrative very soon.

He spoke at his office in Jos when he met with the leadership of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Plateau State Council.

Ogun promised to work with the media to ensure excellence saying, “… Our work here is to raise ITF higher; we are going to be working together with you, especially in the area of sending out quackery in Nigeria.

“In every profession now, we have quacks, a child will be taken to a mechanic to learn for six years but after learning for a few months, he will run away and open a small kiosk somewhere to start his business.

“That is quackery and it is destroying our general occupation in this country. That is why the ITF has decided that through the mandate that we have been given, we will skill up five million artisans every year to professionalise their work so they won’t be looked down upon.

“Through the skill-up artisans’ programme, SUPA, we would drive the nation’s economy and raise the standard of living. We will train the artisans, bring them to international standards, certify and license them.

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“We have a problem that you see an ordinary tiler coming from Cotonou, from Ghana. They have the right to move across borders but we are the landlords, we are suffering because the quality of work we have is below the international standard.

“A time is coming when all artisans in Nigeria will have a license like the taxi drivers out there and anyone without a license would be questioned…”

Earlier, the Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel, Polycarp Auta who led the six other Executives told the ITF boss and his management team that they were in his office to seek areas of collaboration.

He hinted such collaborations would border on training in skills acquisition for their members as well as synergy to provide some social responsibility not just for journalists in the State but other members of society.