The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has given the green light for the launch of a new initiative that is tailored to create employment for 60,000 Nigerians that fall between the ages of 18 to 25. According to the Minister of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udoma, the newly introduced scheme is monikered as the N-Power knowledge multitrack youth empowerment program.
Udoma, who made the revelation during a briefing at the State House correspondents meeting council led by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, said 12,000 unemployed graduates within the said age gap would be trained and given relevant devices after the conclusion of the empowerment program.
The training will be based on mobile computing as well as commonly used electronic devices with, as the Nigerian government will spend NGN 259, 000 (USD 720) per youth, while an extra NGN 207, 000 (USD 575) will be spent on work tools for the program. According to Udoma, the training for each of the youths will last nine months, to which he put an entire value of NGN 5, 595,669,000 (USD 15,567,710).
The initiative, which has been awarded to Softcom Limited, is going to be run under the auspices of the National Social Investment Program (NSIP), which will be open to all unemployed graduates in the country. The Minister said that after each of the training, each of the initial 12,000 selected and trained youths will be further empowered to train five other youths alike, leading to an additional 60,000 job creation.
It is no longer news that Nigeria currently battles unemployment, a deficit which the government and the private sectors are trying to make up for in a myriad of ways. Per a recent report by the Nigeria National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s unemployment rate stands at 23.1 percent in Q4 2018, up from the previous 18.8 percent released in the third quarter of 2017.
Despite these numbers, there was a marginal increase of the employed from 69.9 million in Q3 2017 to 69.54 million in Q3 2018. The total number of employed Nigerians went from 17.6 million in Q4 2017 to 20.9 million in Q4 2018.