By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA — The Presidency, yesterday, announced the take-off of recruitment of 500,000 unemployed graduates, who would benefit from the N500 billion social investment programme of the All Progressives Congress, APC-led government.
Also, Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, will today launch Nigeria’s first national home-grown school feeding programme.
Application portal opens June 12
A statement from the Office of the Acting President, signed by his media aide, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the Buhari Presidency would start taking applications via online for positions in the 500,000 direct teacher jobs scheme, through an internet portal, named npower.gov.ng.
It stated that applications were expected to start coming in on June 12, as the portal would formally be launched on Saturday, June 11.
The statement, which asked young, unemployed Nigerians to visit the website and apply, read: “It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari in his May 29 Democracy Day broadcast to the nation, formally launched the unprecedented social investment programmes already provided for under the 2016 Appropriation by the administration.
“The 500,000 Teacher Corps, nicknamed ‘N-Power Teach’ on the portal, is one of the three direct job creation and training schemes Nigerians can start applying for from Sunday, June 12.
“Others are N-Power Knowledge which will train 25,000 Nigerians in the area of technology, and N-Power Build, which trains another 75,000 in the areas of building services, construction, utilities, hospitality, catering, automotive vocations, aluminium and gas services. All trainees would be paid for the duration of their training.
“The N-Power Teacher Corps initiative, which will engage and train 500,000 young unemployed graduates, is a paid volunteer programme of a two-year duration.
“Unemployed Nigerians selected and trained will play teaching, instructional, and advisory roles in primary and secondary schools, agricultural extension systems across the country, public health and community education-covering civic and adult education.
N23,000 to be paid as salary monthly
“Beside their monthly take home pay estimated at about N23,000, the selected 500,000 graduates will also get computer devices that will contain information necessary for their specific engagement, as well as information for their continuous training and development. They get to keep the devices, even after exiting from the programme.
“According to the plan of the Buhari administration, the N-Power Teacher Corps programme is an invaluable opportunity for young Nigerians to make immense economic and social contributions to the nation, while developing their skills. It will also help to address the problems of inadequate teachers in public schools.
“Also, persons enlisted under the scheme will gain work experience and acquire key competencies through academic and non-academic capacity building programmes intended to improve their competitiveness in the workplace. Their devices will come loaded with knowledge-oriented applications and software that will enable them acquire the skills and capacity.
“Under the N-Power Knowledge scheme, there are three aspects: Creative, Technology Software and Hardware. These three sub-divisions will train 25,000 young Nigerians in all.
“5,000 of them would be trained in Animation, Graphic Design, Post-Production, Script-Writing, all under the sub-division of N-Power Knowledge-creative category.
“The N-Power Knowledge scheme also has a technology category in two aspects: hardware and software. 10,000 Nigerians would be trained, and equipped in the area of software development, including web designer, and another 10,000 in hardware expertise, including repair, maintenance and assemblage of mobile phones, tablets, computers and other devices.
“Also, the N-Power Build category was designed, realizing that the presence of a well-trained and highly skilled youth population in any economy has direct impact on entrepreneurship/wealth creation, which in turn leads to a decline in unemployment.
“N-Power Build is, therefore, an accelerated training and certification (skills to job/enterprise) programme that will engage and train 75,000 young, unemployed Nigerians to build a new crop of skilled and highly competent workforce of technicians, artisans and service professionals.”
School feeding programme for launch today
The school feeding programme, which is expected to ensure the feeding of over 24 million primary school children, would have each of the children given one meal per day in the first year of its operation.
The scheme is part of the N500 billion social investment plans of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Presidency, even as both the federal and state governments are expected to review the strategic plan for the scheme.
The event is billed to hold at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Some dignitaries expected to be in attendance include governors of Borno, Oyo, Osun, Enugu and Kaduna states, and other government representatives and stakeholders from 36 states of the federation and developmental partners.
Plan to run till 2020
According to a statement from the Office of the Acting President, the strategic plans will run until 2020 and forms the cornerstone of the nationwide Home Grown School Feeding programme.
The statement added that “the Federal Government is working with key technical partners to capitalize upon global experience and adopt best practices.”
One such partner is the UK’s Imperial College, London’s Partnership for Child Development, PCD, which is providing technical assistance to the Presidency.
The scheme is to help pupils become better students, and also boost the local economies, and create new jobs along the way.
Beside the strategic plan, Osinbajo would also launch the “Global School Feeding Sourcebook: Lessons from 14 countries,” a joint Partnership for Child Development, the World Bank and World Food Programme analysis of national school feeding programmes from across the globe.