FG Increases Number Of N-Power Beneficiaries From 500,000 To 1 Million

The federal government has increased the number of beneficiaries under the N-power programme from 500,000 to 1,000,000 in efforts designed to actualise its target of taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

The Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Sir Joseph Ari stated this at the graduation ceremony and distribution of start-up packs to beneficiaries of the 2020 National Industrial Skills Development Programme (NISDP), which was conducted by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) amidst the Covid-19 pandemic as part of our efforts to provide Nigerians with technical skills for job and wealth creation.

Exactly 11, 100 Nigerians mostly youths were trained in Tailoring, Information Technology and Cosmetology.

The ITF boss explained that given the circumstances under which the government undertook the training, “this ceremony we are witnessing today is, therefore, not only an expression of our unyielding desire but also our message to all Nigerians that despite adversity and challenges, we as individuals, organisations and as a country, shall always overcome with the right commitment.”

Ari noted that “going by the report of the survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of Q4 of 2020, to the effect that unemployment was still hovering at over 33 per cent while youth unemployment was as high as 44 per cent, it is obvious that more needs to be done.

“What is again very clear is that the efforts of the Federal alone cannot completely solve the problems of poverty and unemployment and the attendant fallouts.

“Indeed, the problems that stare us in the face today require Nigerians to pull together and synergise as institutions of Government, Corporate bodies and Non-Governmental Organisations to fully resolve them” the DG stated.

He said that “under this phase of the NISDP, thousands of Nigerian youths were trained nationwide in three trades namely: Tailoring, Cosmetology and Information and Communication Technology.

“Thousands of others were equally trained in other skills acquisition programmes including the Special Skills Development Programme (SSDP), the Federal Government Skills Empowerment Programme (FEGOSEP), the Info-Tech Skills Empowerment Programme (ISEP) and, the Agri-Preneurship Training Programme (ATP) amongst others.

“This year that we have declared as the Year of Skills Heightening for Prosperity, which also coincides with our 50th Anniversary as an organisation, the Fund has commenced processes for the implementation of another round of skills acquisition programmes across the country. This phase will commence from the 1st week of June this year”.

Ari commended “State Governments, the Organised Private Sector (OPS), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), corporate bodies and other well-meaning Nigerians that have been committing resources to empower vulnerable Nigerians with skills.

“It is my firm belief that only through such concerted efforts would the problems of poverty and unemployment be tackled.

“It is in this guise that I urge all stakeholders to continue to collaborate with us and take advantage of the Fund’s Expertise, Experience and Expansive network to empower Nigerians and resolve the problems that are steadily threatening our national unity and sovereignty as a Nation” he stated.

“Indeed, before the sad intrusion of the pandemic, most of the pressing problems of the country were being effectively tackled through a raft of Social Investment Programmes while also initiating policies that boosted the performance and productivity of Agencies such as ours. The impact of these programmes served to boost all sectors of the economy and drastically reduced poverty and unemployment.

“Undeterred by the ripple effects of the pandemic that has severely impacted economies across the globe, the Government has persisted with its developmental policies. For instance, in a bid to cushion the adverse effects of the pandemic and address other challenges of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector, the Government launched the MSMEs Survival Fund that benefitted thousands of operators in the sector.

“The Government also increased the number of beneficiaries under the N-power programme from 500,000 to 1,000,000 amongst other efforts designed to actualise its target of taking 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“Without the Government’s committed efforts, the unemployment and poverty situation in Nigeria could conceivably have been worse. But going by the report of the survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) of Q4 of 2020, to the effect that unemployment was still hovering at over 33 per cent while youth unemployment was as high as 44 per cent, it is obvious that more needs to be done. What is again very clear is that the efforts of the Federal alone cannot completely solve the problems of poverty and unemployment and the attendant fallouts.

“The problems that stare us in the face today require Nigerians to pull together and synergise as institutions of Government, Corporate bodies and Non-Governmental Organisations to fully resolve them,” he added.

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