The Federal Government has given reasons for its recent decision to disengage 500,000 beneficiaries of its N-Power programme.
N-Power is a programme designed by the Nigerian government to address 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.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, in a statement on Tuesday, stated that the need to provide opportunities for new beneficiaries informed the decision to disengage the batch A and B beneficiaries of the scheme.
She stated, “In 48 hours, over 1,000.000 young men and women like you submitted their applications on the portal in their bid to gain an opportunity of participating in the N-Power Programme.
“That opportunity will be denied them if we do not create the space for them to take part.”
She added that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had thrown a big challenge to the economy just as she urged the affected enrollees of the scheme not to see the Federal Government’s action as punitive.
“The COVI D-19 pandemic has thrown up huge challenges that have impacted us negatively across the spectrum from our health to the economy and taken a serious humanitarian toll on lives… “….the Nigerian economy, like most economies around the world will require a boost to recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.
“This is the major reason why we have commenced enrolment of Batch C, which is providing opportunities for more Nigerian youths to gain skills for employability and entrepreneurship.
“It is also providing a pipeline of skilled workers to help rebuild the economy post-COVID 19.
“So, the transitioning and exit of Batch A& B, which begins today, June 30 and which terminates on July 31, is not a punitive action.
“It is rather a proactive intervention to help up-skill your brothers and sisters and assist them further along on their journey through life.”
The minister expressed delight that some members of the Batch A and B of the scheme, which started in 2016, had gone to set up businesses at their various communities from their savings accrued from the scheme.
“At the last count, over 109.823 beneficiaries from Batch A & B have gone on to set up businesses in their communities, underlining and highlighting the impact and imperative of the N-Power programme.”
Federal Government, on June 26, began the enrollment of batch C applicants of the N-Power scheme which is part of the four social investment programmes established in 2016 to tackle poverty and hunger across the country.