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ITF is owing billions, including unpaid SIWES supervisory, students allowances – DG

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The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) on Friday said the agency is owing SIWES supervisory and students allowances running into billions of naira.

The agency has appealed to the National Assembly to assist in appropriations for the aforementioned.

The Director General of ITF, Joseph Ari, made the disclosure when the Senate Committee visited the Headquarters of the Fund in Jos.

Ari said, “One area we plead with the National Assembly to assist is in appropriations for the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES).

“As you may be aware, the ITF is vested with management of the scheme. Funding for same, however, is the sole responsibility of federal government.

“Unfortunately, whereas participation in the Scheme has soared due to increased licensing of tertiary institutions and disciplines accredited for the scheme, appropriations for allowances of Supervisors and Students have not reflected such exponential increases leading to a situation where ITF is owing billions as unpaid SIWES supervisory and students allowances”, he lamented.

The Chairman further stated that, “To alleviate this problem, we appealed to the National Assembly to use its good offices to reverse this trend in order to avert rampant picketing and harassment of ITF staff across the country.”

In his remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Sam Egwu, said, “The purpose of this oversight visit is to conduct an assessment on the level of judicious budgetary implementation by the Fund, particularly the 2016 approved appropriation.

Egwu maintained that, “Further to this we demand to check the level of compliance with the extact Act of the Fund (2011 As Amended).

The Lawmaker sued for friendship and collaboration between the National Assembly and ITF, aimed at delivering the agency’s core mandate.

He assured that the Committee will randomly visit the agency’s State Area offices and Training Centres, before the year runs out, as a prelude to the 2018 budget defense, to identify areas that require more attention.

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