I.T. SIWES SUPERVISOR:                                              DR S. A. IGBOKE
EBSU SIWES COORDINATOR:                                    ELDER PROF. N. AKUMA
INDUSTRY BASED SUPERVISOR:                              MR. IGWE KENNETH O.

Objectives of SIWES
Establishment posted to/preliminary report
Brief History of the Ministry
Organizational structure of the ministry
Duties of the departments
Department deployed and schedule of duties
Experiences acquired during the programme
Challenges encountered during the programme

            The Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is a skill training programme designed to prepare and expose students of the university to the industrial work situation they are likely to meet after graduation. The need for the establishment of the scheme arises when there was a growing concern among industrialist that graduated of institutions of higher learning lacked adequate practical background required for employment in industries. Thus, the opinion that the theorical education in the higher institutions was not responsive to the needs of employers of labour.
             In line with the foregoing, SIWES programme was designed to bridge the perceived gap existing between theory and practice of Engineering and Technology, Science, Agriculture, Medical, Technical and Vocation Education Programme. So as to acquaint students with the skills needed in the industries after graduation.
            The programme is funded by the Federal Government of Nigeria and jointly coordinated by the National Universities Commission (NUC), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), and the industries to form part of the approved minimum academic standard in the various degree programmes for all Nigeria Universities. The programme lasts for six months that is twenty four weeks in every semester of 300 levels. Before the commencement of the exercise students are being posted by the institution or given opportunity to find their place of attachment and the exercise is well supervised by the institution based supervisors and the industrial training fund supervisors to make sure the students are punctual in the various departments/units of attachment.
            The programme Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) offers Business Education students as well as other participating departments, the opportunity to acquire skills and experiences in the course of study in any tertiary institutions they find themselves to enable them work effectively and efficiently in the ministries, private establishments, government organizations, ministries and also be self employed after graduation. This makes it necessary for every prospective students of vocational education to participate in the SIWES programme.

i.    Provide an avenue for students in the university to acquire industrial skills and experience in their course of study.
ii.   To prepare students for the work situation they are to meet after graduation.
iii. To expose students to work methods and techniques in handling equipments and machinery that may not be available in their institutions.
iv.  To provide students with an opportunity to apply their knowledge in real work situation there by bridging the gap between theory and practical.
v.   To make the transition from school to world of work easier and enhance student’s contact for later job placement.
vi.  To enlist and strengthen employers involvement in the entire educational process of preparing university graduates for employment in industry.

            We were nine (9) Industrial students posted to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State to carry out our industrial training.
            On our arrival at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, we were asked by the Public Relation Officer (PRO) to register our names and signed in their visitor’s register. Therefore, we were taken to the head of Administration (Mr. Ofia U.O.) for introduction. When we reported to the administration office, we presented a letter that was given to us by the school to him, and stated clearly to him. He conducted an interview on us to know our different options and also to know those that can operate computer. We were told to come back for a feedback the following day.
            On the 2nd day he took us to the Permanent Secretary for introduction. We were warmly welcomed by the Permanent Secretary. He collected our posting letter. Thereafter, he gave us orientation about the ministry and handed us over to the Head of Administration for further documentations and posting. Out of nine (9) of us three (3) were deployed to Finance & Account Department, while four (4) were deployed to Commerce Department, one (1) was deployed to (PRS) Planning Research & Statistics Department and one (1) was deployed to industry department. I am one of those three (3) that was deployed to Finance and Account Department.

            The Ministry of Commerce and Industrial is situated at Ebonyi state Government secretariat complex opposite unity square, P.M.B. 136.
            The ministry was established after the creation of Ebonyi state on the 1st October 1996 from the old Enugu and Abia state. The new Ebonyi State Government started through the appointment of Sole Administrator for the state in the person Commander Walter Aye Faghabor. The government took off by the establishment of some basic ministries such as Ministries of Justice, Education, Women Affairs and also Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
            Honorable Commissioner is the political head of the ministry, and the first honorable commissioner in this Ministry of Commerce and Industry was Hon Anyim Ude and the present one is Dr Ifeanyi Ike.
            The Ministry of Commerce and Industry is performing the functions of initiating, developing and implementing several industries and commercial policies. It is also mandated the responsibility to cover small and medium scale enterprises as well as cooperative matters while coordinating export and other commercial activities in the state.

            In the ministry of commerce and industry Abakaliki Ebonyi state, there are seven major departments and sub units headed by directors/H.O.D and H.O.U’S which includes:
-     Administration and Supplies Department: As the name implies, it deals with the staff welfare, handling of correspondence both in and out and general services of the office. They are also in charge of checking the files of the retired staff, promotion and interview in the office. The department is sub-divided into three units such as: Personnel Unit, General Duties Unit and Registry Unit.

-     Finance and Accounting Department: This department is responsible for staff salaries, allowances, payment of staff claims and financial engagement that can be authorized by the permanent secretary/Hon. Commissioner and give report of it. They also assist all departments’ heads and elected officials with their budget expenditure and reports. The department is sub-divided into four units such as: Payroll unit, Cashier Unit, Internal Audit Unit and General Duties Unit.

-  Cooperative Department: This department assists in organizing the members of the public into cooperative societies, so as to avail them the opportunity to benefit from micro-credit facility, the government is operating. The department is sub-divided into four units such as: Extension Service Unit, Annual ALC Unit, Legal Statutory Matter Unit and Revenue CTCS Unit.

-     Commerce Department: This department is in charge of registration of business premises. They also, amongst other functions, participate in organizing trade fairs both local and international. Thus, operate with three units headed by the Hou’s. They are: Trade Regulation Unit, Registration of Business Premises Unit and Trade/Export Promotion Unit.

-     Industry Department: This department of industry supervises companies where the state Government has investments. They are also in charge of monitoring the State Government Companies that are under construction and also advise Government on the policy and towards the establishment of new industries such as creating attractive and conducive investments environment. It operates three units such as: Sold Mineral Liasion Unit, Technical Service Unit and Fund for Small Scale Industry Unit.

-     Finally, New Department (Funds for Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Department): This department was added newly last year ending after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Abakaliki branch, in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Abakaliki mounted a sensitization workshop on CBN deliverables and products (Grants, loan, etc.). The Department became one of the departments in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Abakaliki making it seven departments.

This new department deals with the research on development of Entrepreneurial business (small scale business), feasibility study, training of small and medium entrepreneurs, information, granting of loans, federal grants and other forms from international organization.

            On the various Departments I mentioned above, I was posted to the Department of Finance and Accounts headed by Mr. Igwe K.O. where I carried out the underlined functions.
i.    During the period of my attachment I complied with office records and update the files.
ii.   I sometimes reproduce and update many letters already typed that was sent to other department/establishment as the need be.
iii. Sorting and distributing incoming mails and organize out going mails.
iv.  Attending to inquires and providing necessary information to the visitors.
v.   I also assisted the senior clerical officer and other staff in the administrative function.            

IRREGULARITIES: This means being contrary to rules or to what is normal. It is also anything outside the norms in the office.

i.          Human errors
ii.         Abuse of authority
iii.       System and control breakdown
iv.        Management exception
1.         Cash Handling: What is cash? Cash is money in coins, cheques or other document that can be converted to unit.

-           Receiving cash
-           Issuing receipts
-           Paying out money
-           Recording and analyzing information 
-           Vouchers and financial documents
2.         Balancing the Cash Document
i.          Cash summary
            ii.         Safe guarding cash
iii.               In location & corrections
iv.        Planning for security and communicating to HOD Account.

1.         Moral uprightness
2.         Integrity and honesty
3.         Uncompromising dedication to duty
4.         Hardworking
5.         Ability to work under pressure
6.         Sharp memory
7.         Use of initiatives
8.         Discipline and courtesy
9.         Pro – active
10.       Willingness to advance, update the financial record
11.       Showing first dynamic impression in appearance

These are the moral principles or rules that govern or influence someone’s behaviour as an accountant.

1.         Secrecy
2.         Avoidance of the use of abusive language
3.         Sustaining trust or confidence
4.         Proper dressing & decency
5.         Courtesy to response
6.         Tactful in handling issues
7.         Inter – personal skill
8.         Avoid unethical conduct like drinking anyhow in the public
9.         Loyal to authority
10.       Being very careful on cash movement

HOD Fin & Accts
® Internal Audit
Corp members ------ A/c clerk & messenger       ---------- I T student

            The permanent secretary is the first in the flow at authority because he is the one that approves any financial record in the ministry. And he is followed by HOD who is the accountant of the ministry and the internal auditor who is the one that goes through all the financial record to make sure it corresponds to the amount allocated to the ministry. Next is the payroll officer and the cashier.

            This training is an added advantage to my career as a secretarial student. I can now receive mails, register them and dispatch them to the appropriate office. I learn how to retrieve files/mails from the file cabinet/steel cabinet, I proved upon my typing speed with the opportunity accorded me in the department. I learn how to duplicate a typed document using the photocopying machine and also how to make use of letter headed paper in printing out already typed letter.
            I was exposed to materials used for working in Finance & Accounts Department. This material includes:
-           Cash book
-           Budget book
-           Claim form
-           Personal Emoluments Record form
-           Other payment/payment voucher
I was exposed to a book known as Cash Book which is called TREASURY CASH BOOK. It has 20 columns and the columns are divided into two sides: Debit and Credit side.
            I was exposed to another book known as Budget Book. This book contains the names of all the staff and their annual salary under each department in the ministry.

There are (2) two types of Budget in the Government:
-           Capital budget: It fund is made for roads building while
-           Current budget: It fund is made for the staff spends on motor vehicle like fuel payment.
            I was exposed to another book known as Claim Form. It is a form filled by an individual for a particular activities performed in the government office in order to claim a certain allowances. Example; night duty allowance, overtime allowance and Annual year allowance. This claim form describes for activities perform which tells the government about the expenditure in order to get the allowance.
Also, I was exposed to Payment Voucher which is used in the government office to make payment in form of contract or supply. It has a department head where you will write the name of the ministry. It also has a departmental number which is the number of the voucher. It has paying station where the voucher is made. It also has payee full name and Address, Sub Head is also there where you will write the code given to the head. Note that every expenditure made in the civil service must be done through the voucher and also the signature of the receiver. G W means General Warrant, it is written at the financial Authority inside the payment voucher. PGW means Provisional General Warrant; it is vouchers that have not been received.
Finally, I was exposed to a book known as personal Emoluments Records form. P.E. is a form very important to payroll. It is basically used for salary payment/pension payment. It is being arranged from month of January to December i.e. yearly. It contains basic salary taxable, amount for the month, Gross payment and net payment. Therefore, it is updated individually every month for the salary. I learnt how to prepare this personal Emoluments form.

Despite the knowledge, experience and exposures acquire during the programme, there are challenges and problems encountered:
1.      INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT: It is expected that students should be posted to a well equipped organization where they can acquire expected competency. But on the contrary in the ministry of commerce and industry, I begged to use the computer system which is the only equipment available in the ministry, but it was never available to my use.

2.      FINANCIAL PROBLEM: During the programme I encountered financial problem, the student find it difficult to provide transport fare every day because there was no financial assistances from anywhere and this made me at times let go off certain things so as to endure that, yet I attend work every day.

3.      REJECTION: This is a common problem student suffered during placement. On our arrival to the ministry, we were told that the ministry had stopped receiving students on industrial training, but after sometimes of pleading, we were accepted.

Despite the great Job that SIWES is doing, there are still some areas requiring attention for effective acquisition of skill which is the main aim of SIWES. They include the following:
i.    There should be an agreement between the institution and the ministries because some times the students are being rejected because the establishment where they have being posted are not aware of their coming.
ii.   The institution should ensure that students are posted to the establishment where expected standard of experience can be achieved.
iii. Finally, supervision should be done on regular basis, this will help increase the consciousness and commitments of student’s interest about the work since the supervisor could visit at anytime, and this could also help the student by confiding in his lecturer about his challenges in the work place, and with proper advice, he will be encouraged to put in his best.

            The Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) had not only exposed me to the globe, it has exposed me to various office documents such as cash book, payment voucher, photocopying machine, stapling machine, file cabinet, computer etc. which made it easier for me to carry out what I had learnt in school practically.
            The programme has also exposed me to the procedures of handling incoming and outgoing mails in an office. It exposed me to great people in the society and thereby helping to overcome inferiority complex and harassing my desire to be great and possibly greater.
            The individual training programme has widened my understanding of real work situation and I am happy that I have undergone such a programme.

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