Asaba – The Federal Government’s youth employment scheme, N-Power, on Wednesday attained a major milestone by reaching 1.1 million graduate applicants in just one week.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job creation, Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, dropped the hint in Asaba during an interaction with beneficiaries of the N-Power scheme in Delta.
He announced this to emphasise the rules of the scheme to volunteers who had taken the scheme unseriously.
He said for every chance they had to be selected, there were hundreds of others waiting to grab the opportunity.
Accordingly, he said that those who perpetually absented from work or were irregular in attendance would be demobilised and replaced with applicants resident in the state.
The SSA said that in 2016, at least 751,000 applicants qualified for engagement, including 300,000 for non-graduate scheme, but 300,000 graduates were recruited nationwide.
He said that the non-advertisement of the non-graduate recruitment programme in 2017 was to enable those who applied for it last year to be selected.
“It is for fairness that we did not open applications for non-graduates so that those whose applications were collected could be screened and placed.
“The non-graduate scheme will be mobilized in batches from July,’’ he said.
The presidential aide noted that the job scheme had five key sector targets, including volunteerism and entrepreneurship development.
Imoukhuede said the scheme was a fulfillment of the promise by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to give a dent to youth unemployment in the country.
He said that N-power offered youth the opportunity to do full-time paid volunteer job, develop entrepreneurial skills and have two-year job experience, to boost their curriculum vitae for future international or local jobs.
“When you do not show seriousness through diligence, no one will take you seriously, ’’ he said, and urged the volunteers to also use the opportunity to develop investment plans or pattern for themselves.
The presidential aide paid tribute to three N-power volunteers who established a mini laboratory at the Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) at Otokutu, Ughelli South Local Government Area by pulling their funds together.
He advised others to learn to form synergies and cooperation among themselves, to benefit from the government programmes for cooperatives.
Imoukhuede noted that such spirit was lacking in so many places among Delta volunteers.
“Learn the art of cooperatives and entrepreneurship; if you do not have discipline and the right attitude to work, you cannot be an entrepreneur.
“N-Power gives you an opportunity in a control room to take a giant leap into greater position and prosperity.
This is a ray of hope that Mr President has offered you and you must not allow it to slip by,’’ he emphasised.
On the N-Tax component added to the new recruitment, he said it was being done as a leverage partnership with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Inland Revenue Service to grow the country’s tax base.
The N-Tax volunteers would be posted to canvass the need for prompt and due tax payments and for the people to embrace the civic duty.
“It is an advocacy programme which requires agile youths in a purely professional environment which they can also use to better their financial know-how and improve themselves.
According to Imoukhuede, only 7,500 N-Tax recruits are needed immediately but 100,000 applications have filed applications for it in seven days.
Earlier, the SSA visited the Delta Commissioner for Economic Planning, Mr Kingsley Emu, where he called for serious stakeholder monitoring of the volunteers for effectiveness.
Emu hailed the scheme in the state but advised that with the huge investment by the Federal Government, effective supervision was also very important.
The Commissioner suggested that truants should be removed and replaced by those who needed the job, would work as well as show clear discipline in the use of technology.
He said Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa was committed to the scheme and would soon constitute the board of the ADP in the state to drive the N-Agro and the state’s agricultural programme toward food self-sufficiency.