N-Power: Presidential Aide On Job Creation Addresses Volunteers Via Live Chat (1)
As it has become customary in recent times, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on job creation, Afolabi Imoukhuede yesterday, 17th* September held a Live Chat with N-Power volunteers via the N-Power official Facebook page -Npower. It will be recalled that the 2nd Batch of volunteers, the 300,000 2017 beneficiaries were deployed in August, therefore the need to bring them up to speed with N-Power ethos becomes imperative.
Mr Imoukhuede stated that N–Power was created as a fulfilment of the electoral promise of President Muhammadu Buhari to create jobs and also as an employability enhancement scheme for unemployed youths in the country. 500,000 are presently employed in the Graduate category, tens of thousands in the non-graduate category. The National Social Investment Office (NSIO) domiciled in the Presidential Villa is the coordinating office for the Social Investment Programme (SIP) of which N-Power is a crucial part.
The Presidential aide highlighted the five Social Investment Programmes which includes:
- The Home-Grown School Feeding Programme(HGSFP) that feeds children in public primary schools from Primary 1 -3, 1 Free meal per day.
- Government Enterprise Entrepreneurship Programme (GEEP) focuses on giving loans to different categories of artisans, market women, farmers and there are three cadres: The “trader moni” for those on the lower pyramid that do petty trading, they get a loan of N10,000, the “Market Moni” which gives loans of between N50,000 – N100,000, then the “Farmer Moni” which gives loans to farmers.
- The Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) is conceptualised to reduce extreme poverty by giving cash grants to the poor and the vulnerable in communities across the country.
- Social Investment Hubs which focuses on ICT and has been establishing tech innovation start ups across the country.
- N-Power is the last and is coordinated by the job creation unit.
N-Power includes the Graduate and non-graduate category. The Graduate category ( N-Teach, N-Agro and N-Health) includes the recently deployed 2017 volunteers, while the 1st batch of 200,000 were recruited in 2016 making a total of 500,000 beneficiaries presently. The non-graduate category includes :
- The N-Build which involves vocational training for construction and automobile industry while the hospitality industry will be added shortly.
- The N-Tech incorporates training for hardware maintenance and software development.
- The N-Creative focuses on development of animation, illustration, graphics and the likes.
Most volunteers wondering why there are sometimes delay in payment of stipends got answers as the Presidential aide stated that the Social Investment funds is domiciled in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning therefore they are the accounting officer Ministry while the job creation unit are the operators that deal with the general operations and implementation of the N-Power programme. “All payments are processed through the Ministry of Budget and National Planning”, Mr Afolabi stated.
It was also revealed that N-Power collaborates with Ministries like Ministry of Agriculture for the N-Agro programme who are responsible for the production of the training manual and the Agric extension services. Their partnership extends to the Agric Development Programmes (ADPs). The N-Health category is conceptualised in partnership with Ministry of Health and its agencies and they are also responsible for the Step down trainings and production of training manual.
The next level of partnership is at the States and that is where the Focal Persons come into play. Focal persons are those that have been appointed by the State Governors to act as a Liaison between the Federal Government and the State Government. They play the parenting role for N-Power beneficiaries in their States and are responsible for the coordination of all activities required to make N-Power a success.s
Most recently deployed volunteers might be oblivious of the most crucial official they are responsible to. That most important person to the volunteer at the local level is the Head of the Place of Primary Assignment (PPA). They are the supervisors. For instance, for N-Teach, the headmaster or headmistress is the Head of PPA, while for N-Agro, the Head of the farms or whoever is the Head of that cluster is the PPA head. The matron of head of Primary Healthcare Centres are the most important to N-Health beneficiaries. They are important because they are the ones to mark the daily register as attendance is compulsory. The issues of discipline and adherence to code of conduct is also crucial to the assessment of volunteers. Those that are found wanting in this regard based on the report of the Head of PPA will face sanctions ranging from suspension to summary dismissal based on the severity of the misdemeanour.
Mr Imoukhuede revealed that N-Power has received complaints from across the country about the new 2017 volunteers. Some are said to have other jobs, while others are reported to be planning to do the jobs through proxy. He advised any volunteer that fall within this category to tow the path of honour and exit the programme to pave way for those that really need the job. He restated that N-Power is a full time two-year volunteer Job that is neither a side job or “a piece of the National cake”. “Over 2.5m applied for the 300,000 slots, there are millions waiting in the wings, therefore we won’t hesitate to replace erring volunteers”, Mr Imoukhuede asserted.
N-Power is the Buhari Administration’s job creation and empowerment scheme