As Parts of Efforts to Elevate Millions of Nigerians From Poverty Level, The Buhari Led Administration through the Federal Ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development have flagged off on Monday the commencement of N-Power Batch C Stream 1 for the 36 States and FCT.
The humanitarian minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouq during the flag-off ceremony in Abuja said President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s unwavering efforts in eradicating poverty in our country and for supporting and sustaining the National Social Investment Programme recognized the creativity and impact of the N-Power and has graciously approved the expansion of the programme from 500,000 to 1,000,000 beneficiaries, to enable more young people to benefit.
“N-Power programme deploys an online application and selection strategy to ensure fairness, transparency and credibility in the recruitment process. The programme commenced in the Office of the Vice President back in June 2016 when the application portal was first opened.
Over 750,000 applications were received, out of which, 200,000 beneficiaries were screened and selected into the first batch called Batch A. The portal was opened again in June 2017 where over 2.5 million applications were received, from which another 300,000 volunteers were selected into the programme as Batch B,” the minister stated.
Speaking Further, Farouq said based on this approval, the portal was again opened in June 2020, and over 6 million new applications were received. 1,000,000 beneficiaries will be mined from this as the N-Power Batch C. Batch C is divided into 2 streams. Stream C1 for 510,000 beneficiaries and stream C2 for 490,000 beneficiaries. Under Batch C1, a total of 450,000 have been selected to benefit under the graduate component, while 60,000 beneficiaries will be non-graduate beneficiaries.
According to the Minister, N-Power has 3 core segments which are N-Power Volunteer Corps which is the Graduate programme, N-Power Build, which is a Non-Graduate programme and N-Power Knowledge – Which is also a non-graduate programme but deliberately designed on ICT skills. It includes the N-Tech Hardware, N-Tech Software and the N-Creative training programmes, saying the volunteers are strategically attached to carefully selected Places of Primary Assignments (PPAs) where they will provide technical services while also receiving work experience.
The graduate programme is further sub-divided into N-Teach under which volunteers are trained and attached as assistant teachers in primary schools, the N-Agro volunteers are attached as extension agents to support farmers to obtain better performance, while the N-Health volunteers are trained and attached to work as public health assistants mainly in public Primary Healthcare facilities. The N-Health volunteers are also trained to provide basic diagnostic services in the Primary Health Care Development Centres and will teach preventive healthcare to community members including pregnant women, children, families and individuals especially in rural areas.
“The Non-Graduate programme targets youth in the age bracket of 18-35 with a minimum of secondary school education. The Programme seeks to deliver Skills to Job/enterprise through accelerated training and certification. They are trained, tooled and transitioned to take up jobs as Electrical Installation Technicians, plumbing and pipe-fitting installers, masons, carpentry and joinery experts, automobile technicians, Agric technicians and hospitality experts.”
“The N-Power Volunteer (graduates) are entitled to a monthly stipend of Thirty Thousand Naira each (N30,000.00) for one year while the non-graduate beneficiaries are entitled to Ten Thousand Naira (N10,000.000) monthly stipends for 9 months. All beneficiaries are granted an appropriate starter pack for their trade to enable them to start their businesses in their chosen trades”.
She added that to ensure that the challenges of communication, most particularly as it relates to limitations on information flow and internet access across the country and in a bid to provide accessibility to all target programme applicants and beneficiaries, the Ministry has concluded to provide access to information via a USSD code. In line with the above, the USSD short code *45665# has been secured via integration to provide the required connectivity and technical support for the provision of information services to the beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of the NSIP, Umar Bindir, says since 1960, the different poverty alleviation programmes of the Federal Government had remained only at a programme level.
In his Words, he said,” President Buhari thought it wise to have a full-fledged ministry to effectively address poverty, so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past. He also institutionalised the NSIP in 2016. The NSIP have components such as N-Power, National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, Government Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme and Conditional Cash Transfer. All these are geared towards lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years,” Mr Bindir said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, said since its inception, the N-Power had been a tool to curb youth restiveness.
“It avails the Nigerian youths the opportunity to acquire skills, to enhance their lives, and even create employment for others. I do not doubt that the lessons learnt in Batch A and B would be brought to bear in Batch C, to achieve President Muhammadu’s Buhari vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. My Ministry is poised to contribute its quota to the success of the programme via public awareness and other interventions,” Mr Mohammed said.
Present at the event were officials from the office of the Head of the Federal Civil Service, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, National Youth Service Corps the Ministry of Women Affairs, Industry, Trade and Investment, Humanitarian Affairs, among others.