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‘2.3m youths applying for 300,000 N-Power jobs means rising unemployment’


The revelation by the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, last week Friday, that 2.3 million youths have so far applied for the remaining 300,000 jobs under the Federal Government’s N-Power scheme since the portal was reopened in June means that there are no new jobs created in the economy.

Development Economist, Mr. Dipo Shonubi in an interview said “For up to 2.3 million Nigerian graduates to be running after just 300,000 vacancies where they will be paid N30,000 at the end of a month is very appealing and an indication that government policies in this administration are not really creating the needed jobs”.

“I think the best option for the administration is to change job creation strategy. Across the world, the best job creation model is introducing policies that will encourage private sector investments and not government’s momentary job openings that will not leave up to expectations of a graduate whose parents spent millions to train for years.

He said all these psudo jobs including N-Power, VAIDs and others in the grade are not sustainable because within time, many of the workers will find their levels as N30,000 cannot take any person home especially graduates.

Also commenting, a poultry farmer who pleaded anonymity called on the government to empower Small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) so that they can expand capacities and give out jobs that will meet the satisfaction of millions of Nigerian job seekers.

Business Hilights recalls that Acting president Osinbajo had visited the N-Power scheme’s Response Centre in Abuja on Friday, saying even though government was under pressure to increase the slots beyond the planned 500,000, a decision on whether to increase the figure in the future would depend on resource availability. He maintained that government would stick to the 500,000 target for now.

Under the scheme, which is one of the components of the government’s Social Investment Programme, 500,000 youths are expected to be engaged.

While 200,000 were employed in the first phase, the portal was reopened on June 13 for the applications to fill the remaining 300,000 vacancies.

According to him, “Already, 200,000 young people have been engaged. And since the programme was opened, another 2.3 million have applied and we are looking at the next phase of engagement.

“But for me, I think what is important is that we are able to do this incrementally and we are able to give hope to some of these young people who need the opportunity.

“We will never always be able to do everything but I think that it is important that we do as much as we can.

“You will recall that the target was 500,000 but depending on our resources, we can always do more. But the target, for now, is 500,000.”

He said the tablets given to beneficiaries contain useful learning materials that could help develop their skills in a variety of ways and further give them greater opportunities.

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