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The Director-General/CE of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Mr. Joseph Ari, has said plans are at an advanced stage to commence mass production of the locally manufactured ITF mobile smartphones, which was recently presented to President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the device would be made available and affordable to Nigerians adding that this would expand the GSM phone market and create more jobs in the process.

Ari, also commended both the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI), Mr. Niyi Adebayo, and his counterpart, Mrs. Mariam Katagum, for providing qualitative leadership which had unleashed innovativeness and creativity of agencies and parastatals under the ministry.

Speaking shortly after the formal presentation of the smartphone to Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, recently, he credited the achievement to the inspirational leadership and support of both ministers.

According to him, the phone was produced with 100 per cent locally sourced material adding that , “the breakthrough was proof that given the enabling environment and opportunities, Nigerians will unleash their creative potentials”.

The ITF boss, in a statement by the Fund’s Director, Public Affairs Department, Suleyol Fred Chagu, said in terms of quality and performance, the phone is, “comparable or even superior to most android phones currently in our markets.”

He said: “We are presently putting processes in place with the relevant regulatory agencies towards quality assurance, legal framework and intellectual rights amongst others.

“Our vision is to create a mass production hub that will churn out products that will be available to all Nigerians.”

While also commending the Buhari-led administration for its policies of encouragement of innovation and creativity as well as initiatives that gave birth to the breakthrough, he appealed for increased funding for the ITF to ensure full actualisation of its mandate.

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