Home Top Ad

Post Top Ad

Tuesday 30 June 2020


Waking up to read mind blowing news in Nigeria has been order of the day; if not Politicians in lurking at loggerheads with one another, or celebrities flaunting their luxurious cars with magnify mansions; it would be citizens killing one another, or still, molesting the less privileged with superior devices.

Having recorded over 1 million registrants in the ongoing N-Power scheme registration has birthed not new concern but a need to re-strategize on not only being employable but also curbing outstripping available jobs.

On June 26, 2020, the Ministry commenced the enrolment process of the third batch of the N-Power beneficiaries.

The Federal Government had disclosed that 400,000 applicants would be absorbed into the third batch of the scheme.

N-Power addresses the challenge of youth unemployment by providing a structure for large scale and relevant work skills acquisition and development while linking its core and outcomes to fixing inadequate public services and stimulating the larger economy.

The scheme has previously met with some setbacks, a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria once said after over three years, beneficiaries of the programme were still drawing money from government contrary to the two-year provision earmarked in the scheme.

Her words: “There is supposed to be an exit plan for N-Power graduates because the arrangement was that they will exit after two years and we have exceeded the time they were supposed to have exited".

For years, unemployment has been a significant economic and social issue in Nigeria. Understanding this, the President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration established the N-Power program to deliver better employment opportunities and broader skill sets to Nigerian youth. Prior to now, it has been revealed Nigeria's unemployment rate to reach 33.5 percent by late 2020.

The N-Power program is arguably the most popular social intervention programme executed by the Buhari administration. Launched on the 8th of June 2016, the scheme was designed to aid Nigerians aged 18-35 in acquiring relevant skills to become primary players in the domestic market and solution providers within their communities. The programme covers paid skill acquisition initiatives in health, agriculture, technology, and teaching.

While N-Power strives to improve the quality of labour supply by training youths, it cannot affect the demand for labour in the economy. So, perversely, creating better-skilled workers without a corresponding increase in modest employment would leave the economy with highly skilled but unemployed youth. 

One would begin to imagine, what would be the fate of the intending beneficiaries who are reminiscing on the life to live after getting the slot? 

It is disheartening to realise that our politicians are dribbling the brains of the poor masses by amassing papers (profile data forms) to assist the registrants which could be used as part of the achievements in office - What a country!

Each participant stays on the scheme for two years before they are retired. The logic is to make way for a new crop to benefit from the scheme as opposed to keeping the same set of individuals within the system. Ideally, more people are reached, and those retired from the system are better equipped to gain meaningful (self) employment.

But it is ironic that a scheme aimed at preparing youths for full-time jobs has no clear “graduation” plan to ensure that these youths actually get enrolled in said jobs in the long run. The old beneficiaries are plunged out of the paid volunteer system and back into unemployment, raising further questions about the long-term benefit of the scheme. 

The mammoth annual influx of youth into Nigeria's labour force is a further dent in the N-Power approach. The number of prospective workers far outstrips available jobs – the number of people actively seeking paid employment are rising and we have about 100 million people in the statistics.

It is worrisome that after the N-power test, only few who are lucky are deployed in N-power programmes like N-power Health, N-power Agro, N-power tech where skills can be acquired while the other seemingly unlucky applicants are deployed as teachers, sadly, the latter usually take the work as option and not priority.

Except for the few, who had little savings during the process of the scheme, the hustle and bustle for a good, secure and paying job will definitely continue for some youths after passing through the scheme.

The continuous increase in the number of labour market entrants makes it difficult to gauge the true reach of the N-Power Scheme.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Bottom Ad