The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has trained some widows and dependants of army personnel in 3 Division, Nigerian Army, Rukuba, near Jos.

The 30 beneficiaries were made up of 28 females and two males who underwent two months skills acquisition training on pattern drafting and garment making and were given start-up packs.

The Division’s General Officer Commanding (GOC), Maj. Gen Nuhu Angbazo, at the closing ceremony, said that the skills acquisition training was Division’s modest contribution in keying into the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai’s barracks investment initiative programme.

“I want to especially thank the Director-General of ITF, Sir Joseph Ari, for approving the programme and also providing enormous resources in training the families of our soldiers. “The ITF has done the training for the families of those who have sworn to defend the territorial integrity of Nigeria at no cost to the Nigerian Army.

The GOC said since the assumption of office, his mission statement hinged on three pillars: welfare of officers, soldiers, and their families, professional conduct of personnel and conduct of operations based on established rules of engagement and code of conduct.

According to him, the plan that was unveiled by the incumbent management of the ITF was to accelerate and fast-track the impartation of technical skills to Nigerians in order to create jobs and reduce unemployment in line with the Federal Government’s policy direction.

“I am pleased to note that three years into the implementation of the plan that commenced in late 2016, over 450,000 Nigerians have been equipped with various trades and crafts. “This is done through several initiatives including the National Industrial skills development programme(NISDP), Women skills Empowerment programme(WOSEP) and Construction skills Empowerment programme(CONSEP). “Others are Agri-Prenuership Programme, Skills Training Empowerment Programme for the physically challenged(STEPP-C), amongst others. “Currently, over 20,000 Nigerians across the country are being trained in diverse trades and crafts to be employable and to be able to set up on their own,” he stated.

Ari said the Passion to Profession Programme(P2PP) which the army Division benefited from was unique as it used the Brazilian model where training was taken to the doorsteps of the trainees using mobile training units. According to him, the P2PP, which was first implemented between June 2017 and November 2017 at the Fund’s Model Skills Training Centre(MSTC) in Abuja, had since been taken to Sokoto, Akwa-Ibom, Imo, and Plateau states.

He said hundreds of youths were equipped with skills in the art of pattern drafting and sewing machine operation and repairs and maintenance of air-conditioning/refrigeration. “I must stress that all the beneficiaries were empowered with start-up packs in order for them to set up on their own.”

Ari, who commended the GOC’s good leadership quality by caring for his staff welfare, charged the beneficiaries to judiciously utilise the start-up packs to improve their lives. The Division Training Officer, Brig.- Gen Mike Alechenu, said that the training commenced in August 2019 after a rigorous screening exercise conducted by a team from the Division’s headquarters.

Alechenu said that the training was conducted for a period of eight weeks and ended on Oct. 18. Alechenu stated that over 200 persons were screened for the programme, out of which 30 persons, who are wards of personnel of the Division were shortlisted for the training. “Out of the 30 beneficiaries, 19 widows of deceased personnel, two are serving officers wives, and four are soldiers wives,” he said.