By Chijioke Okoronkwo
The Federal Government says no date has been announced for the exit of the first batch of volunteers enrolled under the N-Power scheme.
Justice Bibiye, Communications Manager, National Social Investment Office (NSIO), in a statement on Friday in Abuja, urged the public to disregard social media reports about current status of the programme.
He said that the Federal Government was liaising with state governments and the private sector to provide permanent engagement for the N-Power beneficiaries.
Introduced in 2016 by President Muhammadu Buhari, the N-power Programme, is a graduate and non-graduate job enhancement scheme.
The objective is to enable them acquire the requisite skills, knowledge and experience for entrepreneurship and self sufficiency at the culmination of their tenure on the programme.
The N-Power beneficiaries are then provided with N30, 000 monthly stipend and devices to aid their learning and skills development.
Bibiye said that progress was already being recorded in the programme as many beneficiaries had already started taking ownership of their lives by setting up small businesses with earnings from the N-power programme.
“Consequently, the Federal Government is already in talks with state governments and the private sector to solicit support for permanent engagement of the N-Power beneficiaries, who by virtue of their exposure to the work environment in the last two years have now garnered the needed experience to effectively operate in the industry.”
The communications manager said that the former Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Mrs Maryam Uwais, was recently in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State, to inaugurate the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
He said the Uwais also intimated N-power beneficiaries of plans by government to assist them get a sustainable means of income as they prepared to exit the programme.
Bibiye said that Uwais also used the opportunity to encourage state governments to retain volunteers who provided services in schools and other public and private institutions in their states.
“Uwais was joined by Bayelsa government officials to ramp up on some ongoing social intervention programmes, including Marketnoni, Tradermoni.
“She also met with the Conditional Cash Transfer officials and beneficiaries in the state saying that the Federal Government through partnerships with some key private sector players is looking out for employment opportunities in the areas of Education, ICT, Agriculture, Security among others for the graduating N-power volunteers,” Bibiye said.