By Harry Awurumibe, Abuja               Worried by the large army of unemployed youths in Nigeria, the Director General/ Chief Executive Officer of Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Sir Joseph Ntung Ari has appealed to State Governments to as a matter of priority make skill acquisition schemes a focal point of their development programmes.

Speaking on Tuesday at a well attended World Press Conference at Transcorp Hilton Abuja, he advised Nigerian governments at local, states and federal as well as corporate bodies to ensure that the youths are trained in basic skills to enable them to stand on their own instead of waiting for the white collar jobs that may not come.

Ari therefore called on Nigerian Media to sensitize  the general public on the importance of skills acquisition, adding that ITF is doing everything possible to ensure that a large number of Nigerian youth receive one type of skill or the other with the little resources available to it.

“I wish to drum it into the ears of Nigerians of the importance of skills acquisition.  That’s the way to go especially in the present situation in the country where many graduates find it very hard to secure government jobs”, he said.

The astute administrator however lamented that ITF’s good work is being hampered by poor funding, pointing out that, “ITF is not funded by the governments, we survive on the paltry one per cent (1%) fund from the Employers of Labour nothing more”.

He revealed that ITF has since he came on board in 2016 trained many youths through many schemes it is running, stressing that over 13, 000 Nigerians will be trained this year alone.

Present at the event were all the Directors of ITF including Hajia Safiya Abubakar, Alhaji Abdulrazak Adeniran, Mrs. Lola Gbademosi and Mr. Dickson Onuoha Director of Information and Communication of ITF.