Friday, 18 September 2015

FG to save N180bn through ‘Brain Gain

The Federal Government yesterday said it is targeting to save over N180 billion over the next three years on first-rate skills training for Nigerian youths through the Industrial Training Fund’s (ITF) Brain Gain initiative.

The Director General, ITF, Dr. Juliet Chukkas-Onaeko, who spoke at a stakeholders forum in Lagos, Thursday, said the initiative, which is an ITF-Diaspora volunteer skills development programme, has been designed to upgrade the quality of skills in Nigeria to international standards at little or no cost to the Federal Government.

She therefore advocated the need for partnership towards the successful implementation of the mandate of ITF to meet the skills needs of Nigerians. The Brain Gain initiative, according to her, will be powered by Nigerian experts in the Diaspora who have volunteered to give back to their home country through direct knowledge and technology transfer at no cost to the ITF.

Chukkas-Onaeko noted that the Nigerian experts, who were specialists in various high-tech sectors, would work with the fund, based on a yearly volunteer calendar that would ensure that the target of annual quality training for four million youths is achieved. 

She explained: “Out of the millions of Nigerian experts all over the world, we have mapped out plans to work with no less than 10,000 of them in renewable energy, robotics engineering, hospitality, oil and gas, and petrochemicals, among others, over the next three years.

As a matter of fact, we have been able to identify over a million experts who have skills to contribute to this programme but in the first phase, we are considering a conservative number of just 10,000. Most of these experts are professionally and financially accomplished people who are willing to play this role at their own cost.”

Explaining how the new initiative would cut down the agency’s cost of operation to the tune of N180 billion, Onaeko said the ITF would save not less than N600 million per annum for every global expert volunteering his services under the programme.

The DG said, “analysts have put the cost of retaining an expert in the Diaspora under the ITF training scheme at N500,000 monthly. This is a very conservative figure, and it is the amount that would have been spent hiring each volunteer trainer for the programme. 

According to her, “when this is computed for a three-year period, the total amount of money that will be saved by government comes to around N180 billion for 10,000 volunteers in three years.”

  Onaeko therefore called for partnership and support from all stakeholders including employers of labour in the country, stressing that for the programme to be very successful, other cost components like air fare and insurance, could be further volunteered by stakeholders.

“We are looking at a situation where airlines operating in Nigeria will voluntarily provide free flight tickets for these experts to further reduce the cost to them and increase the number of resource persons who will volunteer.

 Insurance companies can also come along to insure these experts to make them more comfortable to carry out their assignments,” she said.

She noted that in view of the numerous developmental challenges confronting Nigeria as a nation and the unwavering resolve and commitment of the Federal Government to initiate transformational changes that would place the country on the trajectory of sustained economic growth, it had become imperative for the ITF, as the foremost manpower development agency, to review its strategies and modus operandi.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Am impressed. at least this will help the youths to build up a better Nigeria.