The Nigerian Government says that the over 109,823 beneficiaries of Batch A and B of N- Power programme across the country have established businesses in their communities.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq said this after a virtual meeting with some of the beneficiaries.
Addressing the participants, Umar Farouq noted that “statistics like this give me joy and once again, I want to say congratulations and like I said in my good will message I look forward to hearing amazing testimonials and meeting beneficiaries of this programme who will be doing great things in the future.’’
The Minister further reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of lifting 100 million people out of poverty in 10 years by creating opportunities to enhance the productivity of the Nigerian Youth for employment or entrepreneurship.
“This vision is imperative because youths represent 70 million of the Nigerian population while youth unemployment stands at over 20% with 4.5 million entering the job market annually. The need to find ways to engage them is of utmost importance’’ She said.
She noted that the commencement of the enrollment of Batch C was predicated on the need to give more Nigerian youths the opportunity to benefit as keeping only 500,000 beneficiaries for four years defeats the purpose of Mr. President’s vision.
Some of beneficiaries gave their experiences on how N-Power has changed their lives.
According to Angela Mojisola Nabu, a graduate of Agriculture from Ladoke Akintola University, She said her enrollment in N-Power made her gain practical experience by working with the Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme Ilaro Zone (OGADEP). From there she was able to save some money from the stipends to start her own Fish farm. Today she has 12 ponds.
Another beneficiary, Saddiq Mustapha, from Katsina State and a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, said he was idle after the mandatory one year National Youth Service Corp programme, so he registered and was admitted into the programme on merit. By virtue of the experience gained and training in video production and editing, he has set up a multimedia company and runs the largest online media business in Katsina State with thousands of followers.
The Minister thanked the beneficiaries of the programme while acknowledging the contributions and efforts of those who commenced the programme before it was transferred to the Ministry noting that it a team that needed continuity.
“You are our model N-Power beneficiaries. Please avail yourselves of all opportunities provided by Government like interest free loans and leverage on those opportunities while using N- Power as a stepping stone,’’ the Minister said.
Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq further said that the Ministry has taken note of all the challenges being faced by the beneficiaries adding that she is working to ensure it is attended to, speedily.