Things were rough and life was practically difficult for me as a young graduate.But that is in the past now. With the N30,000 stipend I get monthly, I have been able to save some money to start up some petty business which is equally helping me to take care of myself and aged parents.” The above words are the enthusiastic expression of Olalekan Femi who teaches Mathematics and Physics in Christ School Ado-Ekiti,in an intensive special report by Premium Times on how President Buhari’s N-Power programme is transforming lives and improving education across the country.
Olalekan Femi like many other millions of unemployed Nigerian graduates said he was unemployed after he graduated in 2010. N-power gave him his first job.Just the same way N-Power gave other hundred of thousands unemployed Nigerians their first job; something that was practically impossible before the berth of the APC led administration on the murky Nigerian political terrain.
While it has remained a visible fact that Skills and Knowledge are the two major driving forces of economic growth and social development of any nation,the Nigerian state over the years failed to embrace these two potencies to harness the country’s wealth, neither did successive government before the Buhari led administration saw the wisdom in harnessing Nigeria’s young demography through appropriate skill development.
I am happy to identify that the present APC led government is winning and degrading the war against unemployment through its N-Power programme.
Its large-scale skill development policy has somehow tamed and addressed the challenge of youth unemployment and at the same time provided a structure for a large scale work skill and helped stimulate the larger economy.
The Social Investment Programme (N-Power) has put more smiles on many faces across many homes in Nigeria, from the rural to the urban cities, a clear victory against redundancy by accumulating millions of eager and agile Nigerian youths who hitherto had failed to gain meaningful employment to showcase their skills and creativities.
I believe it is logical to applaud and appreciate the Federal Government’s efforts to have through this laudable program created over 200,000 jobs for 200,000 idleness and innoccent minds; and it’s equally rational to point out its ongoing engagement of another 300,000 graduates as beneficiaries of the second phase of the concise N-Power scheme. Also worth mentioning
is the transparency at which the programme has so far been carried out across the country.
The infusion of well programmed technology in the registration and selection process is laudable.
The process no doubt broke down the wall of nepotism as every process was done online, shutting off the hitherto practice of favoritism in most employment process in the country.
It is important therefore to view the programme as a collective one for all Nigerians irrespective of tribe, states, religion or region, it should been seen as an avenue to link up the country skillful workforce to fix the many inadequate public services and galvanize the economy for the betterment of the nation and the people.
I have no doubt that the N-power if allowed to continue and given all the necessary supports will address many deficiencies.It is sure to reenergize the health sector with its N-Health,impact adequate knowledge with its N-Teach,plant and harvest rich crops with its N-Agro and build sustainable infrastructure with its N-Build.
It’s actually a happy time in the lives of people like Olalekan Femi and the other hundreds of thousands of unemployed but now employed Nigerians who are happy and glad that the Buhari administration under the APC clean broom banner has finally swept off the frustrating stain of unemployment that almost stole their skills and creativities,not minding the monthly N30,000 stipends, at least they are busy and engaged.
–Aliu, a Security & Management Consultant, writes from Paris.