At least 2.3 million young Nigerians have applied for proposed federal government’s 300,000 N-Power jobs, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo disclosed in Abuja on Friday.
Mr. Osinbajo expressed satisfaction with the level of progress so far in the job creation scheme.
He gave the indication while addressing state House Correspondents shortly after inspecting the N-Power Call Centre as well as the distribution of tablets to N-Power volunteer corps.
“We are extremely excited about what we have achieved so far.
“Already, 200,000 young graduates had been engaged and since the portal was opened, another 2.3 million or so have applied and we are looking at the next phase of engagement.
“For me, what is important is that we have been able to do this incrementally and that we are able to give hope to some of these young people who need the opportunity.
“We will never always do everything but I think it is important that we do as much as we can,’’ he said.
Osinbajo stated that the target was 500,000 employees, “but depending on our resources, we can always do more.’’
According to him, the target remains 500,000 for now. He pointed out that 2.3 million applicants had already applied for the remaining 300,000 jobs.
He advised beneficiaries of the job scheme to make judicious use of the tablets being distributed which had so much training materials to develop ones skills in a wide variety of ways to access greater opportunities.
“It is much more than an employment programme; it is a learning programme; it is a skills development programme.
“It is unprecedented and I have not seen anything that compares with it anywhere in the world.’’
The Acting President rated the programme as excellent, adding that the implementation was well done.
On the call centre, he said the whole idea was to ensure there was constant engagement with the young people trying to enter the scheme.
According to him, the centre is also being used to resolve payment issues of volunteers.
“We are trying to use electronic platform as effectively as possible.
“There is no way that you can engage the number of people that we are engaging, train the number of people that we are training without doing it electronically.
“I just want to say that I am so impressed, especially with the young people who are working here and they are proving a point.
“They are proving that we have gone to a different scale to do something entirely different.
“Because here, we are engaging young people and training and informing them at the same time without necessarily physically seeing them here in Abuja.
“So, I think it is unprecedented in its scope, creativity and in all that we will be able to achieve,’’ he added.
Osinbajo said that volunteers who failed to authenticate their bank details would not be paid until they were done with the clearance.
He said the process was new and it was clear that people may have problems with their record adding “if you fail to clear that you will be paying the wrong people.’’
Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Empowerment, said that the call centre was the back room operations of N-Power.
He further said that the centre had the communications team, N-Power Comm, comprising all its social media handlers across the globe.
According to him, the programme is not to share money but for the volunteers to assist in community work to improve the grassroots.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that N-Power, linked to the Federal Government’s policies in the economic, employment and social development arenas addresses the challenge of youth unemployment.
This is done by providing a structure for large scale and relevant work skills acquisition and development while linking its core and outcomes to fixing inadequate public services and stimulating the larger economy.
The modular programmes under N-Power will ensure that each participant will learn and practice most of what is necessary to find or create work.