By Joseph Erunke
THE Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has announced the commencement of enrolment for a new batch of N-Power beneficiaries effective June 26, 2020.
The N-Power Programme was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) with the mandate of lifting citizens out of poverty through capacity building, investment, and direct support.
In his Democracy Day broadcast on June 12, 2020, the president commended the programme, noting that “our Social Investment Programme has continued to be a model to other nations.”
The commencement of the Batch C enrolment, according to a statement from the ministry through its Deputy Director of Press, Rhoda Iliya, “is a sequel to far-reaching consultations and a review of the submissions on the reform and realignment of the programme for greater efficiency.”
Batch C is also being enrolled to provide opportunities for more Nigerian youths to access the programme, in furtherance of the President’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by creating opportunities that will enhance the productivity of the Nigerian youths for entrepreneurship.
In view of these, the ministry has announced that Batch A will exit June 30, 2020, and Batch B will exit the programme on July 31, 2020.
According to the Honourable Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, “we have commenced the transitioning of beneficiaries from Batches A & B into government entrepreneurship schemes and engaging private sector bodies to absorb some of the beneficiaries after the completion of psychometric assessment to determine competency and placement into various opportunities.
The Federal Government is committed to the continuation and expansion and as such will now begin enrolment and onboarding of a new Batch of beneficiaries. Skills acquisition for entrepreneurship and job creation are critical for an economy that will require a boost post-COVID-19 and we are gearing up proactively for the challenge.”
Applications will be conducted using a hybrid system of enrolment to ensure that all Nigerians are given an opportunity to participate. As a Ministry that caters for the vulnerable, we will also make special considerations for Persons living with disabilities.
The online portal would be open to receive applications from noon on June 26, 2020, and will provide a level playing field for all applicants.
As part of the ministry’s reforms to make the programme more efficient, all applicants must supply their Bank Verification Number (BVN) in their application. This is to ensure a streamlined and transparent selection process.
Once applications are submitted, the ministry will review submissions and publish a list of successful applicants. Past beneficiaries are not eligible to participate in the application process.
Comprehensive details for the new batch will be announced in the coming weeks.
The N-Power Programme has enrolled 500,000 beneficiaries thus far – 200,000 from Batch A which started in September 2016 and 300,000 from Batch B which kicked off in August 2018. The beneficiaries were supposed to spend not less than 24 months on the programme and were spread across the key industries targeted by the program – Agriculture, Health, Education, and Tax.
The current beneficiaries from Batches A and B are scheduled to transit the programme by July 31, 2020, with plans already in place to transition them into entrepreneurship.