The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) is making relentless effort in empowering graduates youths and making them a change agent in their career endeavour, so that they can contribute their own quota in the economic development of Nigeria. Federal Government of Nigeria made this known that N-Power Volunteer Corps, a component of the government’s Social Investment Programmes will employ and empower additional 350,000 unemployed graduates youths in this year 2017.
The Acting President Prof. Yemi Osibanjo’s Senior Special Assistant, on Media Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, stated this in a statement while giving update on the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs), of the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Mhammaduu Buhari in a statement. Mr. Akande said President Mhammaduu Buhari has requested appropriation of N157.75bn in the 2017 budget estimates for the N-Power scheme.
350,000 unemployed graduates youths would be employed and trained, alongside 50,000 non-graduates youths to be engaged as artisans and in other creative ventures that under the N157.75bn, a sum of N4.5bn has been earmarked for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programme to support young Nigerians in building skills in those disciplines.
That the present government of President Buhari were able to engage 200,000 unemployed graduates youths last year 2016, that the government will do employ and empower 350,000 more this year.
Mr. Akande also stated that under the 2017 budget a sum of N112.2B has been allocated for the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, GEE, aimed at providing interest-free loans to up to 1.2million market men and women, traders, artisans, youths and farmers.” Under the GEEP, he explained that beneficiaries would receive between N10,000 and N100,000 loans with a one-time 5% administrative fee. According to Mr Akande, over 20,000 Nigerians in over 14 states and have been benefiting from GEEP already under the 2016 budget of SIP. He added that “the Conditional Cash Transfer which has kicked off in 9 states would be further expanded under the 2016 budget and will reach more states and much more Nigerians. The plan in 2016 budget targets one million poorest and vulnerable Nigerians.
He states that some of the teething problems are giving way to lessons that would smoothen implementation under the 2017 budget.
He also disclosed that about N75bn has been allocated for the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme in the 2017 Budget. which will provide one hot meal a day to 5 million primary school students”. that “this would certainly be an improvement on how far the feeding programme has been implemented so far under the 2016 budget which has so far attained the feeding of about one million pupils.”
He added that N112.2bn has been allocated to the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme aimed at providing interest-free loans to up to 1.2million market men and women, traders, artisans, youths and farmers.
And in the 2017 budget an additional N54.98B has been allocated for the continuation of the N5000 monthly social safety net payments to the poorest Nigerians
The Senior Special Assistant to Acting President, Mr. Akande said that Nigerians should expect more this year from the Federal Government of Nigeria especially in the area of implementation, saying that all of the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) are now undergoing different stages of implementation and the President Buhari presidency is firm that more lives must be touched positively under this programmes.