The Director General of the Industrial Training Fund, Joseph Ari has said that the agency is currently putting finishing touches to the processes and modalities that will enable it to begin mass production of Android smartphones for Nigerians.
He spoke in Jos on Monday during a media briefing organised by the ITF to unveil its strategic policy direction for the 2022-2025 period
According to the DG, apart from the need to widen the capacity of the machines involved in the mass production of Android smartphones, there was also the need for the agency to finalise the legal framework for the purpose intellectual property rights .
Ari said, “Yes,it is true that in June last year ,we gave a sample of our android mobile smartphone to Mr President , Muhammadu Buhari but you know that the issues surrounding productions are long and varied .As I speak to you , two weeks ago,I was able to inspect the Assembly plant which has now been installed at the Model Skill Training Centre in Abuja because we needed to widen the capacity of the machines but they have now been installed .
“We needed to also work with other regulatory agencies in terms of drawing the legal framework and other things and we are now at the concluding end to find the legal framework for the purpose of intellectual property rights .So, from that June last year till now, we have done a lot to ensure that we roll out the mass production of the Android mobile smartphones and even a private company in Lagos.
Afrione an Indian company has also approached us to partner with us in the area of capacity building and we have already signed a memorandum of understanding in that regard. So the roll plan is on course.”
The Director-General decried the high rate of unemployment in the country which he noted stood at over 33 per cent, pointing out that the situation had persisted mostly because over 23 million Nigerians that were desirous to work but without requisite skills.
According to him, “It is based on the above and in line with our mandate of developing a vast pool of skilled manpower sufficient to meet the needs of the public and private sectors of the national economy, coupled with resolutions at the recently concluded ITF National Skills Summit in Abuja, that we found it imperative to review and refocus our strategies to address the above challenges and to meet the skills requirement of the nation in line with global best practices. In arriving at our strategies. We considered the need to scale up our activities to address the soaring unemployment and other socio-economic challenges by leveraging on our three Es (Experience, Expertise and Expansive network), deployment of technology for wider coverage and more flexible service delivery.”
Ari explained that the new policy framework, which had as its theme, ‘Re-Engineering Skills for Sustainable Development’ had external and internal components.
“To actualize this, the Fund will develop National Occupational Standards; Evaluate and certify apprentices, technicians and craftsmen; Train and certify learning and development professionals and; Create and maintain a data bank on skills training.When fully in place, our efforts will lead to the development of a robust National Occupational Standard (NOS); create a pool of certified apprentices, technicians and craftsmen as well as assessors and verifiers as well as create a pool of certified learning and development professionals and a regulated skills training environment,” he added.