The Federal University Otuoke on Tuesday, 30th June, 2015 played host to the 2nd Quarter Directors and Zonal Coordinators Meeting for officials of Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) of higher institutions in Rivers and Bayelsa States.
The meeting commenced with a courtesy visit by the federal officials to the Vice Chancellor (FUO) in his office.
In her address, leader of the delegation and Area Manager ITF, Yenagoa, Mrs. Christy Onwumba expressed the appreciation of the Director General of ITF to the institution for accepting the hosting right.
Mrs. Onwumba also disclosed the intentions of ITF to ensure that all institutions get the needed assistance from the agency, adding that the first item on their 4- point agenda, which is to avail 100 percent payment of SIWES allowances to eligible institutions, is a pointer to that mandate.
The Vice chancellor, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko in his speech, welcomed the team to the University, acknowledging that the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is an important facet of technical education, especially for FUO whose courses are yet to be accredited.
Prof. Aluko urged the visitors to visit the institution’s newly acquired Skills Acquisition Centre, and called on ITF Yenagoa to find ways of collaborating with the University in areas of Training and Man Power Development within the Niger Delta region.
He also urged the office, ITF to ensure that every student in the scheme receives the allowance. The VC disclosed that since FUO is yet to be accredited, its students presently on industrial training are not eligible for the payment by ITF but management of FUO has decided to pay the allowance to the students when they return to campus. He used the opportunity to wish them a fruitful session at their meeting.
Responding, Mrs. Onwuba said ITF is willing to partner with FUO in Skills Acquisition Training Programmes but suggested that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should be co-opted into the partnership as they are the largest development agency in Niger Delta.
The visitors afterwards proceeded to their meeting where they resolved amongst other things to ensure that institutions within the zone abide by the guidelines of ITF on SIWES matters.
It was also agreed that SIWES officials in various institutions endeavour to foster a good working relationship with the University Management.
The zonal meeting was well attended by ITF officers in Rivers and Bayelsa States, including SIWES officials of Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges in Rivers and Bayelsa States.
In his closing remarks, the Area Manager of ITF Port Harcourt office, Mr. Emma I Isiwu thanked the acting SIWES Coordinator of FUO, Dr. Akens Hamilton Amachree for her efforts in ensuring the meeting was successful. She commended the University for the warm reception displayed and urged management to continue the good work it has started with the SIWES Office.
The next zonal meeting of ITF and SIWES Coordinators will be hosted by Bayelsa State College of Arts and Science, Elebele, in September 2015.