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ITF has contributed to the growth and development of the country - DG Joseph Ari

By Golok Nanmwa ,Jos 

 Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Joseph Ari on Friday said that  Fund has contributed to the growth and development of the Country .

Ari made this known while speaking during the 50th anniversary celebration of the Fund in Jos .

He said that I  feel deeply honoured and truly privileged to address you today on one of the most important dates in the history of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) - the occasion of the celebration of the Fund’s Golden Jubilee.

As you may be aware, it was on a Friday, just as today, 50 years ago, precisely on the 8th of October 1971, that the administration of General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) officially signed into law the Decree establishing our great institution. The decision to establish the Fund by the Federal Government was informed by the fact that 10 years after the euphoria of independence in 1960, our dear country was still grappling with the twin problems of replacing the departing colonial manpower with qualified Nigerians as well as growing the industrial base of the new Nation. 

He added that as part of measures to address these, the Federal Government established a number of Agencies whose mandates were specifically targeted at achieving these goals.

 One of these Agencies was the ITF, which was charged with, amongst others, the mandate to provide a pool of qualified Nigerians that will man the key sectors of the nascent economy. 

Today, 50 years later, that we are here celebrating this landmark is tribute to our commitment, resilience and dedication as an organisation and its workforce, as we have had to overcome numerous hamstrings and debilitating challenges that stood on our path while also contributing significantly to the goals and objectives of the Federal Government, even as other institutions with supposedly greater potential and more robust mandates have either gone under or are floundering and flailing. 

Our longevity and effectiveness could be attributed, in the main, to the quality of leadership and workforce the Fund has had all these years. In terms of leadership, the Fund, since 1971 has had at the helm, seasoned technocrats, acclaimed academics and versatile administrators with clear visions and commitment to ensuring the full achievement of its mandate. These patriots are: Dr. Abel Ubeku, Mrs Nene Archibong, Alh. Mohammed Dikko, Alh. Lawal Tudun Wada, Alh. Hassan Ahmed II, mni, Prof. Olu Emenifo Akerejola, Prof. Longmas Sambo Wapmuk, OON and Dr. Juliet Chukkas-Onaeko, MFR.

 These visionaries, patriotic and dedicated Nigerians left indelible footprints and legacies that have ensured that the organisation has not merely survived but continually remained relevant to the achievement of national policy goals and objectives. 

For instance, foremost Technocrat and Industrialist, Dr. Ubeku laid the foundation of the Fund when he was appointed as the first Chief Executive of the ITF in 1971. Mrs. Archibong, who was the second Chief Executive and the first female to head the Fund, developed the first ITF Training Policy and its human capital. It was also under her administration that the Fund implemented its first training programme.

The third Chief Executive of the ITF, Alh. Dikko relocated the Fund’s Headquarters from Lagos to its present location in Jos and created additional Area Offices. Alh. Tudun Wada, who succeeded Alh. Dikko, created new Departments following the upgrading of the Fund from a grade ‘B’ parastatal to a grade ‘A’ parastatal and established new Area Offices as well as introduced the ITF National Training Conference. Alh. Hassan Ahmed II, who was the first former staff of the Fund to be appointed as the Chief Executive, embarked on accelerated staff development, constructed and commissioned the ITF Headquarters Complex, and other infrastructural projects. Under Prof. Akerejola, the ITF witnessed enhanced staff welfare an


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