BUSINESS AND ECONOMYNEWS

ITF: Disregard Sahara Reporters, ‘invisible’ staff’s alarm against Ari, group tells Nigerians

The Coalition for Good Governance (CGG) has urged Nigerians to disregard the false alarm by Sahara Reporters and a faceless staff of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) against its Director-General/Chief Executive, Sir Joseph Ari.

The group, at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, said after thorough investigation, it discovered no iota of truth in the claims of nepotism, favouritism and marginalisation against Sir Ari.

According to Secretary-General, Sola Olumese, Sahara Reporters was either misled by the hypothetical staff or is being mischievous in its reportage of events around the ITF.

On the issue of nepotism, the CGG noted that for the first time since the agency’s creation, the management team cuts across all the six geopolitical zones of the nation.

The group further revealed that its research shows that promotion in the ITF is carried out in line with federal character principle without any preference for females as being reported.

It noted that accusations over promotion of women is preposterous and “only goes to show that we are fighting against ourselves, a battle we may likely never win”.

The group also rubbished claims that Ari awarded contracts to his family, noting that it found no tangible proof.

Acknowledging the achievements of Ari, the CGG said the ITF boss has done remarkably well to rid the agency of nepotism, tribalism and the likes.

Under the current management, Olumese said ITF has become more focused, result-oriented, achievement-driven and strategically repositioned in the pursuit of its aims and objectives.

Olumese also said youth unemployment and paucity of critical technical skills for national development has been tactfully and strategically combated, therefore, bringing it to a minimal effect.

The group, however, urged Sir Ari not to relent on his good works, or get dissuaded by actions of different polluted media publications and charlatans surrounding him.

While calling on other agencies to emulate the ITF, the Coalition of Good Governance called on the Federal Government to show more commitment and support in the promotion of technical skills development as a panacea for the nation’s industrial development challenge.

Read full statement below:

Protocols,

The leadership of The Coalition for Good Governance welcomes you all to this press conference convened to clear the air on some spurious allegations raised against the leadership of the Industrial Training Fund and the need to set the record straight.

Over the decades, there has been a recurrent and sustained argument that Nigerian agencies, like its counterparts in Africa and other countries of the developing world, underperformed due to mismanagement of public funds, nepotism, or lack of capacity to deal with the contemporary complexities of governance. The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has debunked many conflicting rumors and speculations through it’s effective positive impact on our great Nation, Nigeria.

The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has been a great parastatal of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. In pursuant to its statutory responsibility over the years, the ITF has expanded its structures, developed training programmes, and fully reviewed its strategies, operations and services in order to meet the expanding, and changing demands for skilled manpower in the economy.

The Coalition for Good governance inclines to make us understand that, “on the re-appointment of Sir Joseph Ari, as the Director-General/Chief Executive, ITF has proven its essence of establishment by promoting and encouraging the development and acquisition of industrial and commercial skills required in various industries across the nation”.

Under the current management , ITF has become more focused, result-oriented, achievement-driven and strategically repositioned in the pursuit of the aims and objectives of the ITF. The strides achieved in the development of critical and technically Skilled manpower for industries and national development are commendable and worthy of emulation.
The Coalition for Good Governance feels disturbed and very concerned about the awful reports given by Sahara Reporters and hypothetical action of the disgruntled staffs who spoke to Sahara reporters concerning the management and its administrative style.

The Coalition has taken its time to investigate the issues raised in that publication and can authoritatively confirm that there is no iota of truth in all that have been said. We can only say that it is either Sahara Reporters was misled by the hypothetical staff or is being mischievous in its reportage of events around the ITF.

It is not new to us, issues of pettiness, anger , pain and rumor mongering, especially in this part of the world where political rivalry comes to play even when there should be a common goal to be achieved by individuals, who knowing better should put aside all anger or petty rivalry.

On the issue of nepotism, the CGG wishes to state that, it is a fact that for the first time since the creation of the ITF, the management team cuts across all the six geopolitical zones of our nation, Nigeria. How then can same be accused of nepotism?

If the Director General, Sir Gawaski is accused of certain wrongdoings, isn’t it only fair to confirm stories before passing them on to be eaten up by the general public? The ITF’s management is at peace, the kind of peace never before experienced in any organization . It says much about their good work and efforts targeted at nation building, equity and fairness to all concerned parties in the country.
The Coalition therefore wishes to unequivocally commend this equitable principle that is at play at the ITF and call on other critical agencies to emulate them. If anything, it tells of how much of hardwork has been done to rid the organization of nepotism, tribalism and the likes.

It is not hidden, how our country has struggled with having women in leadership. An issue we address with future tenses as regards the solution. The ITF management under the able leadership of Sir Gawaski is not waiting for the future. He gives everyone a fair shot, male or female, no matter the tribe.

We struggle as a nation, trying to rid ourselves of sexist leaders who downplay the roles of women in our society and we as a governmental organization pride ourselves in having women at the front of our affairs.

Apparently, Like every other governmental organization in Nigeria, employment and promotion is carried out in line with the federal character principle and the ITF is no exception.

Accusations as regards promotion of women is preposterous and only goes to show that we are fighting against ourselves, a battle we may likely never win. Will there have been complaints of men getting promoted? We claim to be fighting against sexism and chauvinism when every time a woman forges ahead, all we see is someone undeserving.

The Coalition for Good Governance has spoken endlessly for decades about women becoming more active in politics and governance, why then are we embittered by deserving women who have been given a fair shot at things, isn’t only hypocritical and chauvinistic? Aren’t we the source of our own problems. Some men, most likely embittered by women forging ahead, thinking they are more deserving of the positions have come forward to speak , accusing the leadership wrongly, claiming these women were promoted for hidden reasons, how do they know of the ‘hidden’ reasons and the media has acted once again on mere hearsay.

On Sir Gawaski’s reappointment not following due process, the president of the nation reappointed him for a second term, it goes to show that the organization delivered properly under the DG’s rule in the first term. If we watch closely this allegations, it should be noted , how much anger these rumor mongers have harbored in their hearts, it is obvious they are not comfortable with the DG’s reappointment and his giant strides at the ITF.
This goes to show what length these people would go to just to give the organization a bad name.

If these people are unhappy about the second term, they should be picking their bone with the president who thought it wise to reappoint the hardworking DG. Harbored anger has slowly grown to become hate and resentment, nothing will ever be good enough.

These people have a deep seated feeling that the Director General is not worth his position and so it has become a problem for them , they will scrutinize and find faults even where none is. When one is considered not good enough, a lot of things can happen, a lot more can unfold. Accusations begin to fly because that is the only way to know to show their frustration and fight back.

The Coalition for Good Governance has openly declared that the ITF under sir Ari has been nothing short of upright and following the righttsaeps, in accordance with what is required of us as a governmental organization by the law, once again we stand by our word, stating clearly that the organization has been under nothing but good governance.

On giving out contracts to family members, where is the proof of that ? If Sir Gawaski ran the organization like his ‘personal estate’ , how are there people cutting across different tribes at the hem of affairs? Or is the DG now from all geopolitical zones in the country?

One question begs to be asked at this junction, if there is zero nepotism at the head, why should there be at other levels? Over the last two years, sir Ari has been commended for keeping his promise made to the nation as regards his leadership in the ITF.

One occasion comes to mind , his inaugural speech , Sir Ari made a promise after his heart felt appreciation to the president to take the organization to the next level, his promise has been kept and it is evident in how far the organization has come.

He had told the entire ITF family and the nation at large that he was willing to fulfill the Mandate thrust on his shoulders as the DG . He said ; “we cannot afford to betray the trust that is given to us. We must note that our activities must be carried out with utmost commitment and total dedication. I, therefore, call on the management and the entire staff of the ITF and other key stakeholders to contribute innovative ideas. The time has come for us to really come together as a family and do something meaningful and different.”

Sir Ari has brought the organization farther than it had ever been, making sure to remove nepotism and marginalization, the two things most dealt with in governance from this organization. Sir Ari has given Nigerian women a shot at leadership in the organization as well. A feat yet to be achieved by most political organizations in the country . Indeed, sir Ari so far base done an excellent job.

CGG wishes to state in unequivocal terms that the challenge of increasing youth unemployment and paucity of critical technical skills for national development has become an emergency which ITF has been tactfully and strategically combating, therefore , bringing it to a minimal effect in our dear Nation.

We therefore urge Sir Ari not to relent on his good works, or get dissuaded by actions of different polluted media publications and charlatans surrounding him. While the ITF, under Sir Joe Ari has done creditably well in performing above expectations, the Coalition of Good Governance urges the Government to show more commitment and support in the promotion of technical skills development as a panacea for the nation’s industrial development challenge.
The Coalition of Good Governance applauds Mr President for his unending support for ITF, and his precious love for our great Country.

God bless President Muhammadu Buhari, God bless Nigeria.

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