Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Richard Adebayo.

By M. Peter – Jos

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Richard Adebayo, says youth unemployment in the Nigeria was caused by existing skills gaps among the people of employment age.

Adebayo noted that the lack of skilled manpower is being corrected by the Industrial Training Fund, ITF, which is working hard to equip citizens with skills for gainful employment.

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The Minister, spoke at the ITF 2019 Merit Award in Jos, Plateau state where different area offices of the Fund were rewarded for their various achievements.

Represented by the Director-General of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, Timothy Olawale, the Minister commended ITF saying that the agency “has positioned itself as a high flying distinguished parastatal of government worthy of emulation by others” and asked the staff to keep the flag flying.

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Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong, through his Commissioner for Special Duties, Jerry Werr, noted that “the ITF has contributed effectively to the development of the state through training of her citizens.

Earlier, the DG, ITF Joseph Ari highlighted efforts of the Fund at adding value to the nation’s economy.

“It is common knowledge that as a nation, we are contending with the problems of poverty and unemployment, the strange paradox is that despite these, vacancies still exist in various sectors of the national economy.”

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“A skills gap survey showed that vacancies existed in four sectors namely, services, agriculture, construction and transportation that were in some cases being filled by non-Nigerians because of the absence of Nigerians with the requisite technical skills.”

“To prepare Nigerians to effectively take over these sectors, beginning from 2016, the Fund initiated a number of skills acquisition programmes particularly targeted at these sectors.”

Ari advised the award recipients to work hard, stressing that the award was a challenge for them to do.

Among the area offices which got the awards in different categories were Isolo, Abeokuta, Akure, Abuja, Warri, Lafia and Gwagwalada.