By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The attention of the House of Representatives has been drawn to an alleged fraud in the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) over non-payment of allowances to students who participated in the Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES).
Lawmakers in the green chamber said it was “unpatriotic for ITF or any government agency to deliberately bring hardship to students by withholding funds that have been released for payment of their SIWES allowances.”
A lawmaker from Rivers State, Mr Kingsley Chinda, informed his colleagues via a motion today there was need to urgently address the non-payment of SIWES allowances to students by the ITF.
According, one of the mandates of the ITF was to pay allowances to students, who go for industrial training for six months or one year.
“Unless urgent action is taken to check the prevailing sharp practices in the operations of the ITF, students will continue to be ripped off,” Mr Chinda said.
He expressed worry many students who partook in the scheme were yet to be paid their allowances. He urged his colleagues to take a decisive step to alleviate the sufferings of the affected students.
Other contributors to the motion echoed Mr Chinda’s points and urged the House to mandate the appropriate committee to investigate the matter.
After the motion was unanimously by the lawmakers through a voice vote, Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, ordered the House Committee on Industry to look into the allegations of fraud against the ITF and submit its report within four weeks.
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