The Federal Government has decided to continue paying the stipends of the N-Power 2016 Batch 1 beneficiaries beyond the expiry month of December 2018, the presidency said.
The statement issued by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Office of the Vice President, on Monday in Abuja, said funding for the continued payments is contained in the 2018 budget.
However, Akande said that beyond the payments of stipends, the Federal Government is also exploring further options to seamlessly move the beneficiaries from the government job programme to positions where they were able to earn a sustainable income.
He said that the transition would be through a plan, designed to enable them become valuable, all-rounded employees, employers or entrepreneurs.
“The plan is basically an extension of the exit date of December 2018 for the first batch of 200,000 to enable them continue to offer their valuable services in their various communities while still earning their stipends.
“They are also to partake in the Enhancement Programme that would seamlessly transition them into numerous economic opportunities in both the public and private sectors of the economy.
“The N-Power is a job employment and empowerment scheme for hitherto unemployed Nigerian graduates under the Buhari Administration’s National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP).
“The scheme is the largest post-tertiary employment programme in Africa, comprising N-Power beneficiaries that are paid a monthly stipend of N30, 000 and are deployed as volunteers into various sectors of need in the public space, such as health, agriculture, education and public finance.
“For the first time in Nigeria, the N-Power beneficiaries applied and were selected for the programme in an objective, efficient and transparent manner, without the need for ‘connections’ to anyone of influence,’’ he said.
He said that based on conservative projections, the N-Power scheme would provide jobs for at least 10 million Nigerians by 2023.
Akande said that since it commenced in 2016, the N-Power scheme, which had beneficiaries in all the LGAs of the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT, had so far, provided jobs for half a million young Nigerian graduates nationwide.
He said that all the N-Power beneficiaries were given the opportunity to select and own electronic devices for continuous learning as they grew; depending on the selected vocations of entrepreneurship, and to boost the Knowledge Economy.