By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Federal Government has restated its resolve to keep improving on existing policies and programmes designed to create jobs for teeming Nigerian youths
Speaking during the launch of a 40 hectare farm set up by N-Power Agro beneficiaries at the University of Ilorin in Kwara State, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede, said the Buhari administration has through its Social Intervention Programmes SIPs gainfully engaged several thousands of young Nigerians, who prior to the inception of the current democratic dispensation, had been roaming the streets due to limited job opportunities.
Mr Imoukhuede, who was represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Mohammed Brimah said the SIPs are changing the unemployment narrative in the country with millions of young people, including small business owners, artisans and entrepreneurs, leveraging on the various N-SIP platforms to earn a decent living and build capacity for self sufficiency.
“When the administration of President Muhammudu Buhari came on board in 2015, unemployment was at an all-time high, recession had hit our economy. Many graduates were roaming the streets with no job nor any means of survival. However, the Buhari administration, in keeping to its campaign promises, designed some Social Investment Programmes to help improve the living condition of our teeming youth, he said.
A statement by SIO’s Communication Manager, Justice Bibiye in Abuja on Friday, further quoted the Presidential aide as saying, “efforts at ensuring a conducive atmosphere for employment for our teeming youth have to be continuous, however, as each year, more young ones enter the labour market.”
The Presidential aide who expressed delight with the progress report of the N-Power programme and its beneficiaries in Kwara State, said “today, I am happy to hear that N-Power Kwara and the University of Ilorin have signed an MOU for a ten year lease on 40 hectares of land for large scale farming”.
He encouraged beneficiaries of the programme in other States to borrow a leaf from their Kwara counterparts, who have also acquired 7 hectares of land at Oke-Oyi, the Ilorin East Local Government, through the Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture.
On job creation, the Presidential aide said N-Power and other components of the SIPs are being implemented in a transparent manner to give equal opportunities to everyone.
According to him, ” applications are done online to create a level playing ground for everyone, with the information supplied during the application stage serving as basis for an objective selection.
“A direct payment process is part of the strategy, through the bank accounts and BVN submitted by the applicants. The State engages in the physical verification and deployment of the successful candidates to their places of assignment after they have been selected, while direct payment of N30,000 to their accounts commences after NIBSS authentication”, he added.
The Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Dr Kayode Alabi commended the N-Power Agro Volunteers for their resourcefulness which has in no small measure contributed to the development and the rerun economy of the State.
He urged the youth in Kwara State to go into agriculture which is not only lucrative but has the potential of generating employment opportunities.
The 40 hectare N-Power agro farm is expected to grow and produce crops such as soybeans, maize, millets, egusi etc.