We live in a generation where skills acquisition, development and engagement are essential for the youth if we are to take a vantage position within the country. Nigeria, through its youth, needs to create a knowledge based economy where the combination of relevant skills and technologies will help to create communal inclusion and productivity.
The Federal Government in recent times launched the N-Power Volunteer Project to help prepare young Nigerians for this new knowledge based economy. What is the N-Power initiative, you ask? I asked the same question, when I first heard.
Fact: ‘N-Power addresses the challenge of youth unemployment by providing a structure for large scale and relevant work skills acquisition and development while linking its core and outcomes to fixing inadequate public services and stimulating the larger economy.
It is saddening to note that such a laudable initiative has such poor notice across the nation. It thus requires widespread and deliberate publication as it holds, not just huge benefits to the unemployed Nigerian youth, but may just be the answer to the attendant need to provide alternatives to our reality of being an oil dependent economy.
Catering to 18-35 year olds, the website (n-power.gov.ng) states:
‘N-Power addresses the challenge of youth unemployment by providing a structure for large scale and relevant work skills acquisition and development while linking its core and outcomes to fixing inadequate public services and stimulating the larger economy.
The N-Power Volunteer Corp involves a massive deployment of 500,000 trained graduates who will assist to improve the inadequacies in our public services in education, health and civic education.
The 500,000 volunteers are to receive a monthly stipend of N30,000 and are hugely empowered with devices and content to train them across Agriculture, Health and Education, technology and other artisanal focus areas. The objective is that at the end of a 2-year period, these individuals will be equipped, skilled to stand on their own.’
A visit to some of the N-Power collection centers revealed that the N-Power project is gaining support from key individuals, companies and institutions in the country. One of such partnerships is the support provided by MTN. I would like to believe that the support from the telecommunications company was borne out of the company’s confidence in the viability of the initiative. MTN provides support through device distribution/pick up across all their service centers and data for each N-Power Volunteer. Devices are preloaded with content for each volunteer.
Also, according to the website, there is already a first batch of about 200,000 successful beneficiaries and an additional 300,000 will soon be recruited for the different N-Power areas.
I think our youth have been given a unique opportunity and should take advantage of this Federal Government initiative for their own benefit. If other organisations can join MTN and lend their support, maybe this can be sustained and could mean fresh hope for our economy.
The article was written by Jude Akhabue (Jude is a digital media strategist with Radar Trail Nigeria).