ITF dbursesis N1 billion as SIWES allowances

Our Reporter
 ITF dbursesis N1 billion as SIWES allowances

The new leadership at the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has complied with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to hit the ground running with a number of quick win measures to create skills for Nigerian young persons. 

The ITF has disbursed a total of N959,917,982.50 million as allowances to 42, 877 student of 73 tertiary institutions that participated in the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) between 2011 and 2014.
The Director-General of the ITF, Sir Joseph Ari disclosed this recently, when he received the Executive Council members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in Jos.
Sir Ari blamed the backlog on under-appropriation coupled with the soaring number of accredited disciplines, students and tertiary institutions, bur assured that the ITF was committed to the prompt payment of SIWES allowances if funding came from the Federal Government.
He noted that the backlog, which was paid two months after he assumed duty was a pointer to how seriously, he viewed the issue of payment of SIWES allowances.
The DG, who commended the National Association of Nigerian Student (NANS) for resorting to dialogue in airing their grievances, announced that plans were underway to convene a National Stakeholders’ Meeting, which would involve NANS and other relevant stakeholders in order to chart a new course for the Scheme.
Ari down played insinuations from some quarters that the ITF was not committed to the Scheme, saying that in the “Reviewed Vision of the ITF: Strategies for Actualization of the ITF Mandate”, a policy document to guide the organization that was unveiled recently, SIWES was captured among the Quick wins considering its pride of place in the ITF.
He said payment of the backlog would be a continuous exercise depending on the availability of funds from the Federal Government and urge the leadership of NANS to convey the message to its constituents.
Earlier in his speech, the President of NANS, Comrade Haruna Kadiri, represented by the Vice President Special Duties, Comrade Felix Attah lauded the Director-General on his monumental achievements in less than two months of assumption of office, adding that the payment of students’ allowances portrayed him as “a father figure.”
Comrade Attah congratulated him on his appointment, which he said was well deserved considering his antecedents as he had distinguished himself in all his previous positions.
He also said they were in ITF Headquarters to find out what efforts the new Management was putting in place for the success of SIWES but was quick to add that “the facts and figures presented to us today indicated that the ITF Management is good to go and has received our vote of confidence”.
Comrade Attah swiftly debunked the rumors making the rounds, especially on social media that NANS as mobilizing students to picket ITF Headquarters, describing such rumors as baseless and unfounded.
The students’ leader described NANS as a law abiding body which employs dialogue and peaceful means of resolution urging students and Nigerians alike to discountenance such message.
He appealed that NANS should be invited for SIWES orientation activity in order for the body to be abreast of developments as it concerned the scheme. Suleyol F. Chagu signed the statement made available to TNIN on behalf of the head, Public Affairs Unit.

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