National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) has been described as one of the largest social protection programmes in Africa with about $1billion earmarked annually to cause positive change in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in Nigeria.
The minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk who made the observation, noted that the programme has since introduction in 2016 impacted positively on the lives of the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of Master Craft Persons and Flagging-off of N-Skills (Pilot 2) programme in Bauchi yesterday, the minister said that she personally witnessed the life-changing experiences of people who lived below the poverty line and those that are vulnerable to shocks.
“In furtherance to President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for the restructuring of NSIP, and in line with the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy (NPRGS), we instituted processes to revamp and expand the NSIP and to make it more impactful on the economy and citizens,” she added.
This, the minister said, has led to the introduction of the N-Skills programme, which is based on a certification system and accreditation of training provided through the informal Apprenticeship System anchored by Master Craft Persons (MCPs), and through the formal training system using the Community Skills Development Centres (COSDECs).
She said the programme targetted the marginalized and disadvantaged population, including those with primary education as well as those not in any education, employment or Training (NEET).
According to the minister, the programme is geared to improve the quality and relevance of skills delivered using a nationally standardized certification system on the one hand, and to ease the transition of target beneficiaries to full-time skilled employment or self-employment, on the other, as well as bridge the gap in demand for standard and market relevant skills.
Farouq recalled that her ministry piloted the N-Skills programme with the tooling and training of 6,475 youths selected from the 36 states and FCT on Smart Phone Repairs and Service in 2021.