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Trade minister: FG working to empower 10m artisans within two years

Doris Uzoka-Anite, minister of industry, trade and investment, says the federal government is working to empower 10 million artisans in two years.

Uzoka-Anite spoke in Abuja on Friday during the second edition of the ministerial press briefing series.

She said the artisans would be trained under the skill-up artisans programme (SUPA) facilitated by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF).

The minister said the government is targeting another one million jobs in a talent exchange programme where artisans from Nigeria can get jobs abroad.

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“We are creating a National job centre to match available vacancies in industries and businesses with the available talent pool. The job centre will also train and equip people to be job-ready,” she said.

“One such initiative is the Skill-UP Artisans program (SUPA) led by our parastatal, the Industrial Training Fund (ITF).

“The programme will empower artisans with tech-enabled skills training, licensing, access to essential toolkits, and promoting industry-standard excellence.

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“SUPA addresses the skills deficiency among artisans and standardizes artisanal practice. The programme ensures the availability of a skilled workforce for domestic industries, thereby reducing labour import dependency.

“Over a two-year period, the programme aims to empower 10 million hard-working Nigerians and reflects the government’s commitment to promoting economic development and improving citizens’ standard of living, and job creation.

“Still in furtherance of job-creation, skills development and talent exports, we launched the NATEP – to create 1 million jobs, including talent exchange/export, business process outsourcing and job outsourcing.

“We are engaging and signing MOUs with world-class organizations and governments on this.”

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Uzoka-Anite said Nigeria has already signed an agreement with the UK to ensure smooth trade processes that would allow Nigerian businesses to export more goods to the European country.

“The partnership also encourages UK investors to explore Nigeria’s most promising sectors, working towards increasing reciprocal Foreign Direct Investment,” she said.

“This cooperation aims to spur economic growth through investments in infrastructure, technology, and manufacturing.

“Furthermore, the Regulatory Cooperation on Technical Barrier to Trade (TBT) makes it easier for Nigeria to trade goods with the UK by preventing, identifying, and eliminating unnecessary technical barriers.”

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Earlier, Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national orientation, said the ministerial press briefing series was created for the media to be able to engage officials of the federal government on topical issues.

The minister reiterated that President Bola Tinubu understands the pains and challenges that citizens are going through and is working to bring relief to households and businesses.

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