By Chijioke Okoronkwo
The Federal Government says it is committed to job creation for Nigeria’s teeming youths by improving on its existing policies and programmes.
Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation disclosed this in a statement signed by Justice Bibiye, the Communications Manager, National Social Investment Office (NSIO).
Imoukhuede said this at the inauguration of a 40-hectare farm set up by N-Power Agro-beneficiaries at the University of Ilorin, Kwara.
Imoukhuede said the President Muhammadu Buha- led administration had through its Social Intervention Programmes (SIPs), gainfully engaged thousands of young Nigerians, who hitherto had no such opportunities.
Represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Mohammed Brimah, Imoukhuede said the SIPs were changing the unemployment narrative in the country.
He said that millions of young people, including small business owners, artisans and entrepreneurs, leveraged 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 neither jobs nor other means of survival.
“However, the Buhari administration, in keeping to its campaign promises, designed the SIPs to help improve the living condition of our teeming youths.
“Efforts at ensuring a conducive atmosphere for employment for our teeming youths have to be continuous, however, each year, more young ones enter the labour market.”
The Presidential aide expressed delight with the progress report of the N-Power programme and its beneficiaries in Kwara.
He expressed delight to hear that N-Power Kwara and the University of Ilorin had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a 10-year lease on 40 hectares of land for large-scale farming.
Imoukhuede urged beneficiaries of the programme in other states to take a cue from their Kwara counterparts, who had also acquired seven hectares of land at Oke-Oyi, Ilorin East Local Government, through the Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture.
The Presidential aide on job creation said N-Power and other components of the SIPs were being implemented in a transparent manner to give equal opportunities to everyone.
“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.”
The Deputy Governor of the state, Dr Kayode Alabi, commended the N-Power Agro Volunteers for their resourcefulness, which had in no small measure contributed to the development and the rerun economy of the state.
He urged the youth in Kwara the state to go into agriculture which was not only lucrative but had 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, and melon among others. (NAN)