By Kingsley Chukwuka
Worried by the growing rate of poverty, job losses and economic degradation, the federal government in partnership with the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), is set to inject N381 trillion into the economy to cushion it’s effect.
This was disclosed Tuesday in Jos by the Director General of the Fund, Sir Joseph Ari, during a Media interaction with the Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
Ari said the federal government came up with a 5-year National Development Plan tied around the sum money to be able to achieve this aim.
He said the plan will replace the initial Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP).
According to him: “The plan, which projects the creation of 21 million jobs, with 35 million Nigerians lifted out of poverty, affordable housing for Nigerians and an export-led economy among others, is expected to cost N381 trillion to implement and have six focal areas of economic growth and development, infrastructure, public administration, human capital development, social development and regional development.
“As the leading human capital development institution in Nigeria, we have commenced the process of repositioning our programmes and activities to effectively prepare the Nation’s workforce in line with our mandate of developing a pool of qualified Nigerians to man the public and private sectors of the national economy as we believe that for this plan to succeed, all Nigerians as individual citizens and as institutions must contribute their bit.
“You will recall that on the assumption of office in 2016, the economy was in recession leading to massive job losses and corresponding increases in poverty.
“Our initiatives then particularly the emphasis on skills intervention programmes was borne out of the need to drive the actualization of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP), which we achieved to an appreciable degree by training hundreds of thousands of Nigerians that are today gainfully employed or even employers of labour”, Ari said.
He however lauded the media for a robust coverage of the Funds activities over the years, saying that the media has been critical in return of peace in the State.
“Beyond this, fora such as we are holding today have been critical to the return of peace in plateau state, thereby creating the necessary environment for our organisation to thrive especially within the last five years on account of your professionalism and determined efforts to rise above sensationalism, headline-grabbing and petty politics”, Ari said.