Beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s N-Power Program in Ebonyi State, South East Nigeria have been counting their gains, saying the vocational program introduced in 2016 by the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has made a significant impact on their lives and those who benefit from the services they render at their various Primary Places of Assignment (PPA).Justice Bibiye
Speaking from their PPAs via individual video recordings made available to the National Social Investment Office NSIO, the N-POWER beneficiaries in Ebonyi, many of whom were enlisted on the Program since 2016, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the conceptualisation and subsequent implementation of the youth oriented job enhancement scheme, which according to them, is making a difference in the lives of thousands of young people across the country.
Okuchi Okechukwu, an N-Power beneficiary deployed to Urban Community Primary School in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, said beyond the knowledge and experience gained by being engaged to teach under the N-power Scheme, she has also been able to deploy resources earned to improve her small scale business.
” I teach Primary Two Pupils who are mostly from the Hausa Community. Since I resumed here, I have made a lot of positive impact on the lives of these pupils. I am most grateful for this opportunity. The program has changed my financial status and improved my bakery business. Thank you Mr President for this opportunity “, She said.
Ude Victoria, another N-POWER beneficiary in Ebonyi State also said monthly stipends she receives as a beneficiary of the program have in no small measure boosted her soya beans trade.
” I learnt how to make soya beans a long time ago, but due to lack of funds, I couldn’t do anything. Thank God for this N-POWER job, which has helped me raise some money to invest in my business”, Victoria remarked.
For Igwe Jude, an N-POWER Teach Volunteer Batch A (2016) in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, the experience of being enlisted in the program has been worthwhile, noting that the scheme provides a platform to sharpen his skills for higher responsibilities in future.
” I teach Chemistry here in Urban Modern Secondary School in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State. This school is the biggest secondary school in Ebonyi State so they have lots of students. When we came in, they didn’t have enough teachers, and so our deployment helped a great deal. It’s been a good experience because as we teach the students, we also learn from them as well”, Jude said.
Obodo Anthony, one of the N build volunteers working in one of the automobile servicing companies in Ebonyi State, said within a short period of his internship as an automobile trainee, he has covered enough grounds and gradually becoming an expert in car maintenance services.
The list of those who have similar testimonies across the country is endless.
Recall that the N-Power Programme was introduced in 2016 by the President Buhari Administration as a job enhancement scheme aimed at imbibing the learn-work-entrepreneurship culture in Nigerian youth between 18 and 35 for graduates, as well as for non-graduates.
500,000 youths, spread across the 774 LGAs of the country are currently enrolled in the programme and have since been deployed to teach in public schools, act as health workers in primary health centres and also as agricultural extension advisors to small holder farmers in the communities. Beneficiaries under the graduate category take home N30,000 monthly for their services.
The whole idea is to engage the young Nigerian and expose him/her to the work environment with a view to helping them acquire relevant skills and experiences for future endeavors. The selection and payment processes are insulated from subjectivity, being technology-driven. Consequently, a level-playing field has been created for engagement with the programme, while payment is effected directly into the accounts of the successful candidates.
However, amidst the success stories emanating from various quarters on the huge impact the N-POWER program is having on beneficiaries and society at large, lies a few reported cases of misconduct which the NSIO has been dealing with, as stated in earlier Press Statements issued to the public.
While we have since strengthened our monitoring mechanisms to put beneficiaries and other stakeholders on their toes, we, continue to encourage and embrace feedback, as well as constructive criticism in respect of perceived malpractices in the field, as such information would enable us enhance programme delivery around the country.
National Social Investment Office (NSIO)