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FG to empower 10 million artisans through SUPA – ITF DG

The Federal Government has disclosed its plan to empower 10 million Nigerians within two years through the Skill Up Artisans Programme (SUPA). The Director General/Chief…

The Federal Government has disclosed its plan to empower 10 million Nigerians within two years through the Skill Up Artisans Programme (SUPA).

The Director General/Chief Executive of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Dr Afiz Oluwatoyin Ogun, disclosed this on Thursday at a graduation ceremony of 100 youths who benefitted from the 2024 ITF-NERGP skills acquisition programme in Katsina State.

Mr Ogun, represented by Engr. Dauda Lawal, Area Manager of ITF Katsina Office, emphasized SUPA’s role in addressing the skills gap exacerbated by the preference for white-collar jobs.

“SUPA is designed to reverse this trend by enhancing the capabilities of unlicensed and uncertified workers, promoting skills development among artisans, and fostering a society that values shared prosperity,” he stated.

Ogun highlighted the ITF’s commitment to human capital development as a sustainable solution to unemployment, poverty, and youth restiveness.

“Despite numerous vacancies, our youth face unemployment, leading to increased crime and social vices. Skills acquisition is the key to addressing these issues,” he noted.

He maintained that the ITF aims to expand its impact both locally and internationally, aligning with the Tinubu Administration’s goals for national growth, adding that the ITF’s strategic vision includes comprehensive training programs that not only enhance but also diversify and innovate artisanal skills.

He urged the graduates who received start-up packs to use them to build a decent living and contribute meaningfully to the Nigerian economy, saying, “These packs are your ticket to contributing to the economy. Do not consider selling them.”

In his paper presentation at the event, Special Guest of Honour, who is the Rector, Federal Polytechnic Daura, Prof. Aliyu Mamman underscored the advantages of skills acquisition, which include employment generation, high productivity, and foreign exchange earning, amongst others.

He however highlighted some challenges of skilled jobs to include the attitude of the society in looking down on skills, lack of due recognition by the government itself as well as the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that posed major threat to artisans.

He advised the beneficiaries to cultivate a mindset of starting small to grow big with the skills and packs they have received.

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