NPower News: The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq on Wednesday disclosed that the Federal Government is committing the sum of over N5.9 billion on training, tooling and monthly stipends for the Batch C beneficiaries of NPower programme in Kano State.

This was as she said about 16,629 youths were currently benefiting from the programme (under Batch C) in the state while about 18,042 had benefitted in the Batch A and B of the programme.

The Minister stated this during the closing ceremony for about 177 youths beneficiaries who undergo training in Smart Phone Repairs and Services under the N-Skills programme, a component of the NPower programme in Kano State.

Farouq represented by Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on N-Skills, Dr. Nasiru Mahmoud however sounded words of warning to the N-Skills beneficiaries not to sell starter packs handed over to them after the programme which was well conceived to take out of unemployment and turn them to employers of labour.

According to her, “We have had such experience in the past where beneficiaries engaged in selling of the starter packs, that is unfortunate. Do not sell them as they are meant for your judicious use to take you out of unemployment circle and turn you to employers of labour. The programme is well conceived to address poverty and unemployment.

“The N-Skills programme, is based on a certification system and accreditation of practical training provided through the informal apprenticeship System anchored by Master Craft Persons (MCPs) and the formal training system including using the Community Skills Development Centres (COSDECs) in many States.

“The programme aims to improve the quality and relevance of skills delivered using a certification system and to ease the transition of target beneficiaries to full-time skilled employment, self-employment and/or further their education. It targets marginalized and disadvantaged population, including those with primary or no-formal education.

“The N-Skills programme in line with the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) for the development, classification and recognition of skills, knowledge and competencies acquired by individuals, irrespective of where and how the training or skill is acquired. It will help in bridging the gap in demand for standard and market relevant skills.

“The N-Skills accommodates many skills-based enterprises, this Smart Phone Repairs is used to pilot the programme under the NPower non-graduate component. The programme is designed to train, tool and transition marginalized unemployed youths into the labour market to gainfully be employed. The Ministry worked with technical service providers to provide the N-Skills training services to 6,475 unemployed youths across the Federation.

“On successful completion of the in-center training, beneficiaries will be issued a Certificate of Attendance and given a starter pack such as Rework Soldering Station (Soldering Iron), Digital Multimeter, Set of Precision Screwdriver and Repair Tool Kit as well as Magnifying lamp that would enable them to start the smart phone repairs business. Business Clinics are also being set up in partnership with States and FCT to provide post-training business start-up and entrepreneurship mentoring and support to the beneficiaries of the programme.

“This is consistent with the national aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years,” she said.

On the NPower programme, Farouq said, “The graduate and non-graduate components of the NPower programme have been expanded to provide job opportunities for 16,629 unemployed youths in Kano State under Batch C, following the successfully exiting of 18,042 youths under Batches A & B. You may wish to note that under the National Social Investment Programme, NSIP, the Federal Government is investing over N5.9 billion for the training, tooling and/or payment of monthly stipends on the Batch C beneficiaries. This is a tremendous direct injection of resources at the grassroots and in the hands of the youths.

“Through the NPower programme, the provision of much-needed services in the education, health and agricultural sectors will be enhanced in the State and the beneficiaries will be engaged in income-generating activities that would contribute to local economic growth,” the Minister noted.

However, a beneficiary, Maha Jamilu Alkali commended the Federal Government for the gesture which he said would go a long way to address high rate of unemployment among the youths in the state.

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