Uche Usim, Abuja
The federal government via the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) has urged states across the country to engage the N-power volunteers who have been trained in various vocations.
It said such engagements will help address the unemployment challenge in the country and keep the beneficiaries gainfully employed. Justice Bibiye, the Communications Manager, National Social Investment Office (NSIO) in a statement released on Friday also said that no date has been announced for the exit of the first batch of volunteers enrolled in the scheme.
He urged the public to disregard all posts on the social media stating the contrary. Bibiye said: “The federal government is already in talks with state governments and the private sector to solicit support for permanent engagement of the N-Power beneficiaries, who by virtue of their exposure to the work environment in the last two years have now garnered the needed experience to effectively operate in the industry.
“Former Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Mrs Maryam Uwais, who was recently in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State, to flag off the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, also intimated N-power beneficiaries of plans by government to assist them have a sustainable means of income as they prepare to exit the programme.
“She seized the opportunity to encourage state governments to retain volunteers who provided services in schools and other public and private institutions in their States.
“Uwais who joined the Bayelsa state government officials to ramp up on some ongoing social intervention programmes, including Marketmoni, Tradermoni and also meet with the Conditional Cash Transfer officials and beneficiaries in the state, said the Federal Government through partnerships with some key private sector players is looking out for employment opportunities in the areas of Education, ICT, Agriculture, Security etc for the graduating N-power volunteers”.
Launched in 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari, the N-power programme, a graduate and non-graduate job enhancement scheme is being facilitated by the federal government with support from other tiers of government (states and local governments), and the private sector.
It was conceived essentially to engage young graduates in different sectors, including health, education and agriculture. The N-Power beneficiaries are then provided with N30,000 stipends each month and devices to aid their learning and skills development.
The objective is to enable them acquire the requisite skills, knowledge and experience for entrepreneurship and self sufficiency at the culmination of their tenure on the programme.
Progress is already being recorded in this regard as some of the beneficiaries have already set up small businesses with earnings from the N-power programme.