The Federal Government has kick-started its Social Investment Programme by launching a job creation and empowerment initiative called N-Power.
A statement issued on the Federal Government’s social media account reads:
INTRODUCING N-POWER !
N-Power is a job creation and empowerment initiative of the Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria. N-Power is designed to help young Nigerians acquire and develop life-long skills to become solution providers in their communities and to become players in the domestic and global markets. Through N-Power, young Nigerians will be empowered with the necessary tools to go on and create, develop, build, fix and work on exceptional ideas, projects and enterprises that will change our communities, our economy and our nation. The N-Power programme is for all eligible Nigerians looking to work gainfully. However, the initial programmes have been designed for young Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 35.
THE N-POWER STRATEGY
For any country, skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development. Countries with higher and better levels of skills adjust more effectively to the challenges and opportunities of the world of work. Despite the great level of unemployment, Nigeria has the advantage of demographic edge given that a significant proportion of the population is young. Harnessing the demographic edge through appropriate skill development efforts would provide an opportunity to achieve inclusion and productivity within the country. Large-scale skill development is thus an imminent imperative.
Planned development of skills must be underpinned by a policy, which is both comprehensive as well as national in character. A national policy response is, therefore, needed to guide the skill development strategies and coordinated action by all stakeholders to avoid a piecemeal approach. It is also important that the policies of skill development be linked to policies in the economic, employment and social development arenas. This is why the Federal Government of Nigeria has designed the N-Power Programme.
N-Power addresses 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. The modular programmes under N-Power will ensure that each participant will learn and practice all that is necessary to find or create work. The N-Power Teacher Corp involves a massive deployment of 500,000 trained graduates who will assist to improve the inadequacies in our public services in education, health and civic education. Some of these graduates will also help in actualising Nigeria’s economic and strategic aspirations of achieving food security and self-sufficiency.
N-Power will also be a platform for diversifying the economy. N-Power is preparing young Nigerians for a knowledge economy where, equipped with world-class skills and certification, they become innovators and movers in the domestic and global markets. N-Power also focuses on providing our non-graduates with relevant technical and business skills that enhance their work outlook and livelihood.
To start, N-Power will convert the teeming unemployed to a pool of 500,000 empowered teachers, agriculture extension advisers, healthcare assistants, and civic and adult education instructors. There will also be a pool of 100,000 software developers, hardware service professionals, animators, graphic artists, building services professionals, artisans and others. N-Power will widen to attend to more citizens in the coming months.
• To intervene and directly improve the livelihood of a critical mass of young unemployed Nigerians.
• To develop a qualitative system for the transfer of employability, entrepreneurial and technical skills.
• To create an ecosystem of solutions for ailing public services and government diversification policies.
N-POWER HAS 3 MAIN SEGMENTS
• N-Power Teacher Corps
• N-Power Knowledge
• N-Power Build
1.N-Power Teacher Corps
The N-Power Teacher Corps is a segment of the N-Power initiative which will engage and train 500,000 young unemployed graduates for the benefit of rural development in Nigeria. It is a paid volunteering programme of a 2-year duration. Through the N- Power Teacher Corps programme, the government’s commitment to the improvement of quality of lives, reduction in income inequality and tackling of the deficiencies in public services will be actualised.
The graduates will work in their immediate rural communities, where they will assist in improving the inadequacies in the education, health, and agriculture sectors. Among the key selection criteria for the N-Power Teacher Corps will be a predisposition to work in proximate communities.
The 500,000 graduates under the N-Power Corps programme will get computing devices that will contain information necessary for their specific engagement, as well as information for their continuous training and development. Participants will provide teaching, instructional, and advisory solutions in 4 key areas.
The N-Power Teacher Corps programme is an invaluable opportunity for young Nigerians to make immense economic and social contributions to the nation while developing their skills. They will be encouraged to think critically, and be entrepreneurial and creative in applying their skills in their areas of endeavour. The 4 main focus areas are in primary and secondary education, agriculture, public health and community education (civic and adult education).
N-Power Teach will engage qualified graduates for the benefit of basic education delivery in Nigeria. They will be deployed as teacher assistants in primary and secondary schools around Nigeria. They will not replace the current teachers, but will work as support teachers across Nigeria, assisting with teaching, school management and other functions within the schools. They will also assist in taking basic education to children in marginalised communities.
Importantly, they will gain work experience, and acquire key competencies through academic and non-academic capacity building programmes, which will improve their competitiveness in the workplace.
Through the N-Power Health programme, young graduates who form part of the 500,000 N-Power Teacher Corps members will be trained to work as healthcare assistants. They will teach preventive health to community members including pregnant women, children, families and individuals. They will also be trained to provide basic diagnostic services.
Programme participants would be trained to provide the following essential services:
1. Monitor health status to identify and solve community health problems.
2. Diagnose and investigate basic health problems and health hazards in individuals and the community.
3. Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
4. Mobilize community partnerships and action to identify and solve health problems.
5. Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
6. Educate on laws, regulations and policies that protect health and ensure safety.
7. Link people to needed personal health services.
One of the ways that the Federal Government plans to diversify our economy is attaining self-sufficiency in producing the food we consume. An effective and well-coordinated agriculture extension system is vital to the attainment of sustainable national food self-sufficiency. To establish this, the Federal Government will engage 100,000 qualified young Nigerians through the N Power Agro programme.
After a first phase of training, N-Power Agro members will start to function as intermediaries between research and farmers. They will operate as facilitators and communicators, helping farmers in their decision-making and ensuring that appropriate knowledge is implemented to obtain the best results on farms. N-Power Agro will also rely on the use of technology as the country aspires to identify soil types, farm sizes, irrigation data, and ensure that our farmers are part of an existing and developing knowledge management system.
N-Power Community Education
There are certain values that are vital to building a nation. The Federal Government will focus on promoting patriotism, integrity, productivity, ethics, and efficiency. Civic education is essential to sustain our objectives to build a strong and competitive nation. To achieve this, the Federal Government will deploy a segment of the N-Power Teacher Corps as teachers of the civic skills and dispositions required to build the minds and hearts of our nation.
Some N-Power Teachers Corps members will also instruct and teach young and mature adults to improve or supplement their knowledge and skills in literacy, numeracy and other areas where they may be deficient.
The N-Power Knowledge programme is the Federal Government’s first step towards diversifying to a knowledge economy. This programme will work alongside the planned eight innovation hubs across the country to provide incubation and acceleration of the technology and creative industries. The programme is a training to jobs initiative, essentially ensuring that participants can get engaged in the marketplace in an outsourcing capacity, as freelancers, as employees and entrepreneurs. The knowledge programme is segmented into three sub programmes:
• N-Power Creative
• N-Power Tech (Software)
• N-Power Tech (Hardware)
The N-Power Creative programme will train and develop 5,000 young creative talents. The strategy is to put our creative industry on the global radar as exporters of world-class services and content. The duration for the training is 3 months, made up of 1 month in-class, and a 2-month hands-on group project, conducted across selected Nigerian cities. The participants will be trained and certified in one of the following courses:
• Graphic Design
• Script Writing
At the end of the training, some participants will get local and international internship opportunities while others will be linked to job and market opportunities. In addition, all participants receive computers that assist them in skills acquisition and kick-starting their journey to work and entrepreneurship.
N-Power Tech (Software)
The N-Power Tech (Software) programme is set out to train, equip and support 10,000 young Nigerians to meet the local and international demand for software developers, web designers and other technology needs. The training will last for 3 months.
In addition to their technical courses, they will also receive entrepreneurship and business outsourcing trainings.
At the end of the training, some participants will get local and international internship opportunities while others will be linked to job and market opportunities. In addition, all participants receive computers that assist them in acquiring skills and kick-starting their journey to work and entrepreneurship.
N-Power Tech (Hardware)
The N-Power Tech (Hardware) programme is a demand driven skills training initiative that will train a minimum of 10, 000 young Nigerians to repair, maintain and assemble mobile phones, tablets, computers and other devices.
This will be a hands-on training programme where students will learn with the same tools, components and systems that they will encounter after the programme. Through this programme we will not only develop a huge crop of hardware entrepreneurs that can provide repair and maintenance services, but also train and develop a reservoir of human capital in hardware assembling and manufacturing for the domestic and export markets.
The presence of a well-trained and highly skilled youth population in any economy has direct impact on entrepreneurship/wealth creation, which in turn leads to a decline in unemployment. If Nigeria is to fully maximise the use of her human capital coupled with our abundance of natural resources, it must pay attention to skills competency development and entrepreneurial training.
N-Power Build is an accelerated training and certification (Skills to Job/Enterprise) programme that will engage and train 75,000 young unemployed Nigerians in order to build a new crop of skilled and highly competent workforce of technicians, artisans and service professionals.
The focus industries include:
• Building Services
• Built Environment Services
• Utilities and Engineering
• Hospitality and Catering
• Aluminium and Gas