The special assistant to the President on N-Power Job Creation and Youth Empowerment as well as the coordinator of the N-Power Programme Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede was on Confluence FM Lokoja, Kogi State on Friday 28th of July 2017 for a phone interactive session, as part of the N-Power Monitoring Team’s visit to Kogi State.
Below are summary/take home points from the 30 minutes interactions with the coordinator of the N-Power Programme Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede .
ON THE AIM OF THE N-POWER PROGRAMME.
The aim of the n-power programme is to engage Nigeria’s unemployed youths between the ages of 18-35, and provide them with employability skills that will make it easy for them to successfully navigate the congested labor market and become gainfully employed. ‘We have chosen this age bracket represents the largest proportion of Nigeria’s population and have over 48% rate of unemployment”.
THE CORE PILLARS OF THE N-POWER PROGRAMME
The core pillars of the N-power programme are Learning, Work and Entrepreneurship.
- Learning: it is hoped that through their engagement at their various places of primary assignment, volunteers will learn by doing, thus increasing their employability skills and become better prepared for full employment. The device is as well to encourage continuous individual learning by N-Power volunteers.
- Work: Every volunteer is engaged to work in wherever they are posted. Working is an essential component of the programme, so person who are found to not be working will not only be asked to repay every kobo they have been paid, they will also be prosecuted.
- Entrepreneurship: The N-power programme is also designed to teach beneficiaries how to become self-employed. There will be no 25th month pay out, but each volunteer is expected to cultivate the saving culture by saving a portion of their monthly stipend, which they can then use to start small businesses at the end of the programme.
THE N-POWER 2017 APPLICATION
The coordinator announced that the portal has now closed for the 2017 application as at midnight of 27th July, 2017. He re-iterated that the process for selection in 2017 will be more difficult than the 2016 and will follow the process below;
- N-Power Job Creation Online Application (Now Closed)
- BVN Validation
- Assessment Test
- Physical Verification
- Final Selection and deployment.
These processes will be strictly followed and will be as transparent as the 2016 selection.
Applicants for 2017 should understand that the competition is tougher this time than last year. According to him, in 2016, 200,000 volunteers were selected out of 350,000 applications, whereas this year, 300,000 volunteers will be selected from a pool of 2.5million application. It means for all applicants, there will be no room for laxity.
THE N-POWER DEVICE COLLECTION
Only Volunteers that have been verified and are receiving monthly payments will be eligible to be given the devices. This is because the devices are work tools and part of the benefits of the N-power. He further explained that the government in addition to paying out about 6billion naira monthly in stipend to volunteers, also pays additional 900 million naira to the bank of industry on a monthly bases for a period of 20 months as part loan repayment for the devices, meaning that in actual sense, the government pays each volunteer the sum of N34, 500 (thirty four thousand five hundred naira) monthly instead of N30, 000 (thirty thousand naira). Therefore it is not possible for anyone who is not receiving monthly payments to be given a device.
Additionally, device remains the property of the FGN until after the expiration of 20 which will culminate at the termination of the N-Power Job Creation duration, when a volunteer would have completed the work for which Mr. President approved the disbursement of the devices and when the volunteer would have also paid for it full.
NB: Should any volunteer exit the N-power programme for whatever reason (absconding, Voluntary withdrawal) before the expiration of this 20 months, the N-power will withdraw the devices from them. In the case that they want to retain ownership of the device, they are to pay back to the federal government the balance of what is left of the 20 months at N4,500 per month. (For someone who wishes to withdraw in July, 2017, he or she would have to pay back to the FGN N4500 X the 16 months left in the programme).
N-Power Job Creation BACKLOG PAYMENTS
The SA to the President to the president re-emphasized that the FGN does not owe any N-power Volunteer. He explained that all unpaid volunteers have not received payment because the officials were unable to validate their account details and their BVN. He assured that as soon as any unpaid such volunteers update their details or rectify their account problems, they would be paid.
However, July, 2017 is the last month of grace as all Volunteers with un-rectified or un-validated details after July will be withdrawn from the programme. Also, payments for all backlogs will be processed after July, 2017.Top of Form