By Aliyu Jidda Ibrahim
The Vice – Chancellor, Federal University of Technology Minna, Prof. Abdullahi Bala FSSSN, has called on the Director General of Industrial Training Fund, Sir Joseph Ntung Ari to have a paradigm shift in the policy of the scheme by incorporating all the courses run by the University into the Students Industrial Work Experience Schemes (SIWES).
The Vice Chancellor made the call on Thursday 30th September, 2021, when the Staff of the Industrial Training Fund(ITF), Minna Area Office and SIWES Zonal Directors/ Coordinators paid him a courtesy call as a prelude to their 3rd Annual General Meeting hosted by the University at the Main Campus, Gidan Kwano,University.
Prof. Bala said that the University always has challenge concerning some of its programmes that are not funded by the ITF.
He lamented that the growth in the number of institutions of learning and attendant rise in the number of students but industries in the country are not growing in commensurate proportion. This, he said, poses a lot of challenges to the University.
He therefore requested to ITF consider incorporating all the courses of the University in their funding, except if there is legal backing to that effect, it should be made known so that the National Assembly could be approached to set the records aright.
The Vice-Chancellor disclosed that the University had deliberated on the need to have a data bank of industries and institutions where students would always be sent on SIWES and have good placement.
He said that as a university of technology, to actualise its vision and
Mission, the institution needs to synergize with the relevant stakeholders so as to produce qualitative students and ITF is giving the institution the necessary supports.
Speaking on the routine training of staff, Prof. Bala explained that the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the paucity of funds halted the continuation of the training throughout the year. He however, assured that the training of staff by ITF shall certainly commence by early next year (2022).
Speaking earlier, the Manager, Minna Area Office, Hajiya Halima Rabo expressed the felicitation of the Director General ITF, Sir Joseph Ntung Ari KSM, KSS to the University and other institutions for approving the holding of the meeting which is meant to discuss issues of mutual benefits to the citadel of learnings in our great nation.
Represented by the Head of training/Area Manager, Minna Area office Engr. Gyang Y. Davou, Hajiya Rabo went further to enumerate the objectives of the SIWES scheme to the gathering and expressed hope that the deliberation at the meeting would strive to provide solutions to the challenges encountered by all stakeholders, which is a catalyst for stimulating a conducive environment for academicattendance
The coordinator related that ITF holds FUT, Minna in high esteem especially considering the caliber of graduates it.
He elaborated further that one of the commendable staff in the Minna Area Office is a product of the University.
At the opening session of the meeting, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), who stood in for the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Emmanuel Emeka Udensi, fnip appreciated the participants for being around despite the security challenges. “Your coming shows the love you have for Nigeria ” he added.
The don reiterated the appeals made by the Vice-Chancellor earlier by calling on the Director General ITF to kindly incorporate all the students taking the courses of the university in to SIWES. He advised the ITF and SIWES Coordinators to equally establish a data bank of relevant institutions, industries and SMS that SIWES students could be posted to and have good placement rather than the usual practice of doing the Scheme at in appropriate organisations.
Dr. Ezekiel Yisa, SIWES Coordinator, FUT Minna, led the University team. This year’s meeting which is the 3rd in the series, had representations of nine (9) institutions in attendance within the state.
Photos by Elijah Yisa