The Nigerian Government says there are plans to employ five hundred thousand youths this year through the N-Power scheme of the Nigeria Social Investment Programme.
The Special Adviser to the President on Federal Government Social Investments, Mrs. Mariam Uwais made the disclosure at a Stakeholders Sensitization Workshop in Benin City, the Edo State, southern Nigeria.
Uwais described N-Power as a volunteer corps for graduates and non-graduates as well as training for empowerment and knowledge.
Mrs. Uwais said “we intend to employ five hundred thousand unemployed graduates in this first year. It is open to all unemployed Nigerian graduates between the ages of 18 and 35. All you need to do is to go on to the portal that has been opened, and it closes on the 31st of August, 2016”.
While announcing the plans of the Nigerian Government to breach the gap between the rich and poor, the Special Adviser said “the government is concerned that fifty eight million Nigerians are considered poor. There is a need to ensure that resources spread more evenly across the country and so our social protection programmes are essentially ones that are aimed at bridging inequalities between the rich and the poor”.
“Besides the 26 programmes implemented since 2000 to date, the Nigerian Government has come up with five additional programmes. It has set up an office within the office of the Vice President for effective monitoring to deliver standard mechanism that will be sustainable to avoid duplication of roles to ensure proper coordination and synergy among key ministries and also between the various levels of government”, said Uwais.
Mrs. Uwais continued, “Our programmes are designed to reduce poverty and inequality, also to jumpstart progress and human development through conditional cash transfer, job creation, school feeding, skills development, education and financial inclusion”.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for initiating the programme for the benefit of the less privileged.
Governor Oshiomhole said “let me on behalf of the government and the people of Edo State appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for appropriating funds specifically directed at children of the poor in public schools”.
According to Oshiomhole, “government has the responsibility to identify the poorest of the poor and boldly appropriate public funds structured in a way that will deliver some relief to these categories of our country men and women.”
He said “people have been lamenting the growing number of unemployed youths. We know that the youths are the most active, vibrant. Government needs to demonstrate beyond rhetoric that we reject this unacceptable level of youth idleness and has created a scheme, which will enable some of these youths get employment”.
He stated that education was the foundation for empowerment and sued for sustainable peace, justice and fairness so that the people can reap the benefits of government’s poverty reduction programmes.