The Federal Government, on Wednesday, reiterated its resolve towards adequate funding of various schemes under the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs), including N-Power programmes aimed at reducing poverty and unemployment rate across the country.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, gave the assurance in Abuja while delivering a farewell message at the end of the 6 weeks N-Knowledge training component of the N-Power Programme for Batch C1, held across the 6 geopolitical zones of the country.
Under the arrangement, no fewer than 3,000 Nigerian youths including People Living With Disabilities (PLWD) drawn from the North Central geopolitical zone of the federation have been trained by Federal Government on various vocational skills.
The beneficiaries who were drawn from Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa, Benue States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) undergone 3 months of training namely: N-Power Tech, N-Power Creatives, N-Power Build, N-Power Public Health Workers (N-Health), Agriculture Extension Workers (N-Agro) and Volunteer Teachers (N-Teach) held at the instance of Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
According to the Minister, the N-Power programme was key to helping young Nigerians acquire and develop life-long skills that ensure they become solution providers and entrepreneurs in their communities. N-Power has 3 core segments: N-Power Volunteer Corps — the Graduate programme;
N-Power Build – Non-graduate programme; N-Power Knowledge – which is a non-graduate programme and embodies the N-Tech Hardware, N-Tech Software and the N-Creative training programmes (Animation and Scriptwriting).
“You will confirm by now that the N-Knowledge programme is focused on equipping young Nigerians with relevant skills and certification to become competent workers, innovators and entrepreneurs prepared for both the domestic and global digital job market. N-Knowledge programme targets to upskill 20,000 young Nigerians on the global radar as exporters of world-class services and content in the creative and information technology sectors. The shortfall of about 7,000 will be mopped up as soon as possible to meet up with the target of 20,000 as earmarked for this tranche.
“This training component is targeted at developing competencies of the youth in software development, Hardware training and creative industry which is catalytic as well as the groundwork to make Nigeria compete in the outsourcing market for software development. It will develop the skills and capacities along the skills set in the value chain of website development, mobile apps maintenance and start the talent development effort for the growth of information technology industry in Nigeria.”
During the training session, Federal Government provided accommodation for all the participants across the 24 training camps, paid a monthly feeding allowance of N27,000 for three months and N30,000 transport allowances which were divided into N15,000 when reporting to camps and another N15,000 at the end of the camp.
She assured the beneficiaries that the monthly stipends of N10,000 for the period of nine months which has commenced will continue to the end of your apprenticeship period.
Farouq disclosed that all the training tools were carefully designed to meet the needs of the different programme tracks in Hardware maintenance, software development and Creative design.
According to her, the sequel to Mr President approval to employ one million beneficiaries into the N-Power programme, a total of 510,000 beneficiaries have been employed in Batch C1 while the Batch C2 will commence soon, through which more Nigerian youths would be enlisted into the programme.
In a brief media chat, NSIP National Coordinator, Umar Bindir, who expressed satisfaction over the successes recorded so far through the implementation of various segments of the NSIPs, described the NSIPs as an ambitious programme.
“It’s a very ambitious programme, NSIP has been acknowledged as the most ambitious poverty eradication programme in the whole of Africa.”
While responding to questions on the funding being spent on the schemes, he said: “If you have one million Graduates attached every month for the one year, they are paid a stipend of N30,000 so every month, there’s a bill of N30 billion, just to pay the stipend and you can do the estimate in one year, you are talking about between N300 and N360 billion only paying for the stipend.
“The non-Graduates have packages as you can see, computers, welding facilities, soldering facilities and so on. They take their own starter packs after being trained, they can now go and do their own business.
“So it is as I said, it is a very ambitious programme and the government is investing between N300 to N400 billion every year to sustain the programme.”