Following the successes recorded in the N-Power programme of the Buhari administration and the growing need for government’s direct intervention in job creation, the Federal Government will expand the N-Power scheme to accommodate 1 million beneficiaries in the next phase, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
The Vice President who stated this while responding to a variety of questions from Nigerians across different professions and persuasions, at a town hall meeting in Abuja yesterday, said the programme would become the largest post-tertiary job scheme in Africa.
According to him, “the idea of N-Power is supposed to be government’s own programme of direct employment and training. At the moment, we have taken up to 500,000 and in the next phase we are looking at another 200,000 and closely followed by another 300,000.
“In all, we will be employing up to a million, and that will be the largest post-tertiary job programme in the entire Africa. The reason why we have done this is because of the employment problems that we have, we may not be able to engage everybody but at least government must give some direct provision of jobs.”
Prof. Osinbajo explained further that though government could not pay more than the N30,000 currently paid to beneficiaries and also fix all the unemployment issues, it is working on creating the enabling environment to ensure that beneficiaries as well as other unemployed Nigerians become useful to themselves.
He said: “It is infrastructure that will create the opportunities to provide more jobs, especially through manufacturing and Industry.
“So, we are doing roads and rail, providing power; that is the way we can develop industry. We are energizing our markets at the moment, putting solar power in the markets. We have designated 300 markets, we have done Ariaria in the South East, Sabon Gari in Kano, Surat in Lagos, Isikan in Ondo, Gbagi in Oyo and we are expanding so that more people can work.”
Earlier, the Ministers of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; Industry, Trade and investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah; Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi; and Agriculture, Dr. Audu Ogbe, responded separately to issues relating to their various ministries.
The town hall meeting was organized by Act Now, a non-political group that works in promoting transparency and good governance as well as youth participation in governance.