INDUSTRIAL Training Fund (ITF) has paid over N13 billion to 1,140 employers of labour as reimbursement between September 2016 and August 2018.
According to a release signed by Mrs Suleyol Fred-Chagu, Head Public Affairs Unit of the establishment, the Director-General Sir, Joseph Ari who disclosed this during a meeting of the ITF Reimbursement Schedule Officers in Port Harcourt, stated that the amount paid was the highest of any comparable period in the history of the Fund.
Giving the breakdown of the payment, the Director-General said between September 2016 and December 2016, the Fund paid N2,206,296,343.34 to 275 companies, N7,515,337,391.86 was disbursed to 304 companies between January 2017 to December 2017, while 216 organisations received N3,516,467,051.64 between January and August 2018.
Sir, Ari attributed the sharp rise in the payouts to diligence and hard work of the Reimbursement Officers, and the commitment of management of the Fund to the payment of reimbursement to all contributing employees provided they meet all the conditions for such reimbursements.
According to him, some of the conditions for granting reimbursement to include the payment in full of their annual training contribution, training of their workforce across all cadres, presentation of evidence of training, acceptance of students on the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) as well as, application for reimbursement within the stipulated period.
The DG explained that the idea behind the payment of reimbursement was to encourage employers of labour to train their workforce.
“The ITF Act provides that every employer having either 5 or more employees in its establishment or less than 5 but with an annual turnover of N50 million and above, shall in respect of each calendar year, contribute one per centum of its total annual payroll to the Fund.
“The act also requires that the Fund may make a refund of up to 50 per cent of the amount paid by an employer if the Fund is satisfied that the training programme of the employer is in accordance with the Fund’s reimbursement schemes.”
Ari, therefore, advised employers of labour to train and empower their workers with skills noting that the human factor was the most important factor of production.
He said without qualified labour, even the most expensive machinery cannot guarantee productivity.
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