N500bn Spent Annually On Social Investment Programmes – FG

PHOTO: NSIP official website

 

The sum of N500billion is spent annually on National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) by the Federal Government.

This was disclosed on Monday by the Minister of State Budget and National Planning Clement Agba at the 60th annual conference of the Nigerian Economic Society in Abuja.

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He said the Federal Government is committed to grassroots development and has shown this by investing N500 billion annually since 2016 in the national social investment program.

“In order to create a more inclusive society that enhances the quality of life. The government has continued to implement the social investment program.

“The sum of N500billion has been appropriated annually for the scheme since 2016. This reflects the continued determination of the government to pursue an inclusive society and achieve growth. Policies such as the n-power scheme have seen 500,000 graduates and 26,000 others engaged.

“Under the national home-grown school feeding program, as at March 2019 over 9.5million school children across 30states are being fed and over 1913 cooks empowered,” Agba said.

The Minister added that government enterprise and empowerment program has seen to the disbursement of  N1.71million loans to small businesses and farmers across the 36 states and the FCT.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration launched the Social Investment Programmes to address poverty through the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), conditional cash transfer and N-Power.

N-Power Programme To Train 10m Nigerian Graduates By 2023, Says Osinbajo

Osinbajo Asks Dairy Investors To Support Local Production
File Photo: Yemi Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that N-Power Programme introduced by the Federal Government is targetted at training 10 million Nigerian graduates by 2023.

He revealed that the N-Power Programme has so far provided jobs for 500, 000 young Nigerian graduates in the last two years.

The Vice President disclosed this while delivering a special lecture on “The Challenges of Human Development in 21st Century Africa” at the prestigious Oxford University, United Kingdom.

He said, “As the proportion of the working age group of 15-59 years will continue to increase steadily over the next years, Nigeria has the advantage of “demographic dividend‟. Harnessing the demographic dividend through appropriate skill development efforts provides an opportunity to achieve inclusion and productivity within the country.

“Over the past two years, through the N-Power Programme, the largest post-tertiary employment programme in Africa, we have been able to offer skills development programmes digitally to over 500,000 young citizens between the ages of 18 and 35. We have set a target of skilling 10 million Nigerians by 2023.”

Osinbajo also highlighted the provision of social housing in a Family Homes Fund as a “core plank of the government’s empowerment approach, which is expected to provide another 1.5 million jobs by 2023.

He said, “Our Family Homes Fund aims to provide up to 500,000 housing units by 2023 using a concessional financing facility to construct houses at less than N5m, as well as a home loans assistance programme that will enable people at the bottom of the housing pyramid to buy their own homes at subsidized rates. This will be complemented by a rent-to-own scheme.”

He also noted that a total of N55 billion has been disbursed to 250,000 farmers under the administration’s Anchor Borrowers Programme scheme, which provides subsidised credit to smallholder farmers so they can boost production with guaranteed uptake by the anchor companies

He added that the continued diversification of the Nigerian economy by this administration and its massive investment on infrastructure are some of the initiatives it has deployed towards promoting growth and human capital development in the country.

According to him, “We have also prioritized spending on infrastructure. Rail, roads, and power in particular.

“Despite earning 60% less than the previous administration, we have spent N2.7 trillion in two budget cycles on capital, the highest in the nation’s history.

“We also executed a comprehensive, phased plan for ease of doing business which earned us 24 places higher on the World Bank ease of doing business index and commendation as one of the top 10 reforming economies in the world.

“We launched our energizing economies project, providing solar power to markets and economic clusters for small businesses and petty traders”, Osinbajo said.

He also inaugurated the International Advisory Board (IAB) of Oxford University’s African Studies Centre, under the School of Global and Area Studies (OSGA).

The members of the inaugurated board are eminent leaders from across the world including several African countries like Nigeria and South Africa.

They are Mr Tito Mboweni, an international advisor of Goldman Sachs, and former Chairman of the South African Reserve Bank, who will chair the board; Madame Monica Geingos, First Lady of Namibia, lawyer and entrepreneur; Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, former UN Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, one-time Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and former Nigeria’s External Affairs Minister; and Dr. Charlotte Scott, former First Lady of Zambia and development specialist.

Others include Mr Gareth Ackerman, Chairman of Pick’n’Pay, South Africa; Mr. Alex Duncan, Director and Consultant Economist, The Policy Practice, Brighton, United Kingdom; Mr. Ivor Agyeman-Duah – Economist and author, Accra, Ghana; Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria; and Ms. Linda Mabhena-Olagunju, founder and Managing Director, DLO Energy Group (Pty) Ltd, South Africa.

The Vice President was received by the Head, Oxford School of Global & Area Studies, Tim Powers; and the Director of the African Studies Centre, Prof. Wale Adebanwi.

We’ve Served 25 Million Meals Under School Feeding Programme – FG

Northern Elders Pledge Loyalty To Osinbajo As Acting PresidentThe Federal Government says N41bn has so far been spent on its Social Investment Programmes, with 25 million meals served under the school feeding programme.

The FG disclosed this in a statement issued by the spokesman to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Mr. Laolu Akande, on Tuesday.

The statement said a breakdown of the total number of meals served show that 1,051, 619 million primary school pupils are now being fed in 8,587 schools across Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, and Zamfara states.

It added that no less than 11,847 cooks have been employed to prepare the meals.

Of the over N41bn so far spent on the social investment programmes, the statement said N-Power, which is the job programme for unemployed graduates, has received N26.418bn, being the single largest spending item out of the four social investment programmes under the 2016 Appropriation.

The Government Enterprises Entrepreneurship Programme (GEEP) received N7.301bn, the Home Grown School Feeding Programme got N7.092bn, while N800m went to the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme.

According to the statement, it is expected that later in the week, more meals will be served as Delta and Abia states are set to be paid under the school feeding scheme.

Delta State is expected to receive a sum of N63, 366, 100 to start the feeding of 90, 523 primary school pupils, while Abia State is to receive N42, 921, 200.

The statement added that Kaduna State had been repaid N3.4bn for its past expenses in implementing the food programme ahead of Federal Government’s roll-out.

While Acting President Osinbajo noted the progress made under each of the programmes, he ordered that the expansion of the programmes so that more Nigerians can benefit, the statement said.

Osun SUBEB Confirms 8,605 Persons Registered For N-Power

Osun SUBEB Confirms 8,605 Persons Registered For N-PowerNot less than 8,605 participants were registered in Osun state for the Federal Government’s initiative to reduce the menace of unemployment, coined N-Power.

The Permanent Secretary, Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Fatai Kolawole, disclosed this on Thursday, as he commended the federal government for the laudable stride.

According to him, a total number of 10,042 participants registered for the programme in the state, out of which 8,605 eventually turned up for the screening exercise and onward deployment to various areas of assignment.

Fatai explained that the board, in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has embarked on deployment of corps to various areas of assignment and proper education for participants.

He described the scheme as timely and a great complement to the teaching staff in the state, especially at the secondary schools, saying it has afforded the sector ample opportunity of adding more competent hands into its fold.

“As a service delivery agency, we consider it an obligation to listen carefully to complaints of participants and meticulously attend to them.

“Our major challenge is paucity of Information Technology compliance since the whole programme is IT-driven, which required great skill.

“All in all, the initiative is a profound relief for many unemployed youths in the country, it has greatly reduced unemployment in no small way,” he said.

Presidency Warns Against Sales Of Social Investment Programmes’ Forms

N-power, OgunThe Presidency in Nigeria has asked citizens to turn-down any demand for money for forms of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes (SIP), saying none of the programmes attracts an application fee.

A spokesman for the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, warned against the ilelgal collection of fees on Sunday while giving a weekly media update on the SIP.

He said the government had received reports about instances where Nigerians were being asked to pay application fees for SIP forms.

“We want to make it clear that such action is illegal and could warrant criminal prosecution.

“Let us make this very clear: in order to benefit from N-Power, you don’t have to pay any application fees at all.

“The way to apply is to go online to the N-Power portal. But it is not open right now as we are still working on the 200,000 unemployed graduates already engaged,” Mr Akande explained.

Regarding the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), he also explained that there were no application forms or fees to be paid either.

He said: “We are using a Community-Based Targeting template of the World Bank and as we have explained this is the mode of identifying the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable”.

The Vice President’s spokesman observed that there were instances during the N-Power online application process when some leaders decided to gather information of their people and then upload them onto the N-Power Internet portal to meet the online application requirement.

“We don’t frown on such an effort as long as the information of the N-Power applicants are properly in-putted online. But we frown at anyone selling forms to Nigerians for this programmes,” he said.

On claims that some party agents have been involved in such illegal form sales, Mr Akande said “the rule affected everyone”.

“No one should sell forms for N-Power or any of the President’s Social Investment Programmes. That is exploitation and it is fraudulent.”

On the progress so far recorded on the CCT, Mr Akande said payment was now taking place in all the nine pilot states, adding that altogether FG has already made cash available to keep the payments going.

Akande said while the CCT payments have started in the pilot states, although not everyone in those states have been paid due to logistics and banking challenges. He disclosed that three banks Stanbic, Access and GTB have been very helpful in the process, including supporting the implementation of aspects of the CCT pro bono.

The Vice President’s spokesman also told reporters that the Homegrown School Feeding Programme would also proceed this week with the addition of five states who will now be getting FG funding to ensure that primary school pupils in those states start enjoying one hot meal a day.

Ogun, Oyo, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Osun states would be added added to Anambra where the school feeding programme kicked off last year, to increase the number of states where the programme is being implemented to six.

At least 5.5 million Nigerian primary school pupils would be fed for 200 school days under the free Homegrown School Feeding Programme, according to the 2016 Budget, which has an allocation of 93.1 billion Naira appropriated for the feeding scheme.

Obaseki Advocates Review Of Edo State Schools’ Curriculum

Obaseki Advocates Review Of Edo State Schools' Curriculum The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday in Benin City, advocated a quick review of the curriculum of schools as a ‘sine qua non’ to having solid educational foundation for “our children in the state”.

Governor Obaseki said this while receiving in audience, the leadership of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), led by its Acting Chairman, Mr Iyalomhe Akhagbemhe.

The governor used the occasion to assure the leadership of the NUT that the state government was working with State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), to fill the 3,000 N-Power vacancies allocated to the state.

He said that government would not only fill the vacancy but would train the teachers and provide them with instructional materials.

He also advised the NUT leadership to think of reviewing the school’s curriculum in the state so that those who pass out from schools would not only be employable but could also become entrepreneurs.

Governor Obaseki equally reiterated his electioneering promise to create 200,000 jobs and noted that teachers also had fundamental roles to play in achieving the feat.

He said the process must begin with the solid foundation for the pupils and students, stressing that it was high time stakeholders began to rethink the purpose of education and the type to be given out.

“But for us, we must begin to think about our curriculum, so that the people we produce from the school system are people who can sustain themselves in life. -So that after JSS, you should be able to do something with your life.

“So it’s time to rethink the purpose of education and the type of education to be given out.

“We are currently working with SUBEB to fill the 3,000 N-Power vacancy given to the state.

Governor Obaseki disclosed that most of the subsidy to the state would be channeled towards vocational and technical education, saying “there is the need to work and ensure that by 2020 our children have skills.

“To do this, we have to train and retrain, hence our focus on technical education.

“We need to have center of excellence to strengthen our teaching call”, he added.

Obaseki, who emphasized that schools supervision was also part of the training, gave the assurance that government would re-jig the school’s management system for the better.

The Governor further stated that the teachers, mostly regarded as those who produce the best brains and the best minds, was the reason his predecessor pursued the policy that saw the upgrade of teachers to the level of permanent secretary.

Earlier, Akhagbemhe advised the governor to ensure he appointed square pegs in square holes to drive his desired developmental stride for the state.

He appealed to the governor for the support of teachers, adding that some of the challenges in the educational sector included the non-payment of leave transport grant for 2016.

Akhagbemhe listed the non-release of promotion since 2012, dearth of teachers as well as non-availability of instructional materials as challenges encountered in most schools.

13 States Complete N-Power Verification

13 States Complete NPower Verification13 states of Nigeria’s federation have submitted verified lists of graduates engaged under the N-Power job creation programme of the federal government.

This comes as the government prepares to commence the payment of monthly stipends to the 200,000 graduates drawn from all 36 states.

A statement from the Office of the Vice President says some of the graduates have been deployed to their primary places of assignment, and payment of the 30,000 naira stipends will commence this month.

The states that have completed the verification include Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Cross Rivers, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina and Kogi States.

Ogun Govt. Begins Verification Of N-Power Applicants

N-power, OgunThe Ogun State government has commenced the verification exercise for the 5,799 beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s social welfare and employment generation scheme, N-Power.

Channels Television crew, who visited some of the verification centres across the three senatorial districts of the state, said unemployed graduates subjected themselves to the screening exercise.

The verification of certificates and other documents was carried out to ascertain the eligibility of the applicants in the state in southwest Nigeria.

The Special Adviser to the State Governor, Mrs Tinuola Sopeju, briefed a gathering on the process of the exercise on Thursday.

Mrs Sopeju explained that the beneficiaries would be clustered into three groups according to their areas of competence.

The beneficiaries are expected to get the sum of 30,000 naira monthly as stipend under the social welfare and empowerment programme.

Some of the applicants commended the government for the initiative.

They also asked for the extension of the programme beyond the stipulated duration of two years.

N-Power Programme: Kogi Govt. Employs 4,530 Graduates

N-Power Programme: Kogi Govt. Employs 4,530 Graduates Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has flagged-off the federal government N-Power program for 4,530 successful beneficiaries in Lokoja, the state capital.

Governor Bello during the flagging off, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari, for the initiative aimed at empowering unemployed graduates across the federation, while also charging the beneficiaries to be diligent and give their best in the discharge of their duty.

The N-Power deployment exercise is a two years program created by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which is designed to drastically reduce unemployment in the country.

The focus is to provide the young graduates and non-graduates with the skills, tools and livelihood to enable them advance from unemployment to employment, entrepreneurship and innovation from various states of the federation.

npower1
Attendees at N-Power flag off In Kogi state.

The Kogi state government is the first to flag it off, with the belief that keying into the opportunity, would reduce unemployment and crime rate.

It is set to target Nigeria’s critical needs in education, agriculture, technology, creative, construction and artisan industries.

About 500 successful young graduates who are now beneficiaries of the scheme, all gathered at the glass hall of the government house Lokoja for the official flag-off of the social investment program.

Also present were top government officials such as the Special Adviser to the governor on multilateral donor agencies and special projects, Adoga Ibrahim.

In his address of welcome, he said physical verification and deployment of beneficiaries to their various places of assignment would begin from next week at various local government areas, while he warned those with fake credentials to stay away.

Secretary to the state government Folashde Arike, equally charged participants to be honest and hard working.

In his key note address, the governor promised the beneficiaries that his administration would retain all those that are able to distinguish themselves on their given assignments after the set two year period.

He noted that he was working hard to ensure all industries and commercial opportunities available in the state are revived to provide jobs for youth.

N-Power Jobs Scheme For Unemployed Graduates, Others Enter Assessment Phase

N-power, Job PortalAbout a million Nigerian undergraduates, who have applied online for the N-Power programme of the Buhari presidency, would now be assessed in order to pick the final 500,000 for the two-year volunteer positions, a government official said on Monday.

The Federal Government had earlier released a schedule for the next phase of the N-Power Programme, which is the job creation and empowerment initiative of its Social Investment Programme.

Under the next phase of the programme, candidates will be assessed in phases based on their specific chosen programmes before the final selection.

Applicants are to log in and fill in their phone numbers and surnames as contained in their original application, using their personal profile, which the government said had been created for every applicant.

The government said all candidates would be notified by SMS of their assessment the day before.

A statement by a spokesman for the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said all assessments would include some personal questions and other questions testing basic knowledge of English, General Knowledge and Quantitative Reasoning.

“Applicants should also note that they will be tested on other programme-specific questions depending on the programme they applied for.

“Applicants are to note also that they can take their tests on a smart-phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer provided that the devices have internet connection.

“Successful applicants will be selected to participate in the N-Power programme,” the statement read.

Mr Akande pointed out that applicants could only gain access to their profile for assessment as represented in the schedule which breaks down applicants in batches by the first letter in their surnames.

Based on the schedule, applicants for the N-Power Teach programme would be first in line, starting on Tuesday September 20, 2016 and applicants whose surnames fall between the alphabets V-Z are expected to log in and take their assessments on the stipulated date.

A schedule for each programme’s assessment released by the government is represented below.

Programme Test Days
N-Power Teach 20th September – 28th September 2016
N-Power Agro 29th September – 1st October 2016
N-Power Health 2nd October – 3rd October 2016
N-Power Community Education 4th October – 6th October 2016
N-Power Creative 7th October – 9th October 2016
N-Power Tech (Software) 10th October – 12th October 2016
N-Power Tech (Hardware) 13th October 2016 – 14th October 2016
N-Power Build 15th October – 18th October 2016

N-POWER TEACH PROGRAMME
DATES SURNAME BY ALPHABETS
20th September 2016 V, W, X, Y, Z
21st September 2016 P, Q, R, T, U
22nd September 2016 Aa – Al
23rd September 2016 Am – Az, B
24th September 2016 O
25th September 2016 M,N
26th September 2016 F, G, H, I
27th September 2016 C, D, E
28th September 2016 J, K, L, S

N-POWER AGRO PROGRAMME
DATES SURNAME BY ALPHABETS
29th September 2016 A, B, C, D, F, G
30th September 2016 E, H, I, J, K, L, M, N
1st October 2016 O – Z

N-POWER HEALTH PROGRAMME
DATES SURNAME BY ALPHABETS
2nd October 2016 A – I
3rd October 2016 J – Z

N-POWER COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAMME
DATES SURNAME BY ALPHABETS
4th October 2016 A – G
5th October 2016 H – N, P – T
6th October 2016 O, U, Z

N-POWER CREATIVE PROGRAMME
DATES SURNAME BY ALPHABETS
7th October 2016 A – E
8th October 2016 F – N
9th October 2016 O – Z

N-POWER TECH (SOFTWARE) PROGRAMME
DATES SURNAME BY ALPHABETS
10th October 2016 A – H
11th October 2016 I – R
12th October 2016 S – Z

N-POWER TECH (HARDWARE) PROGRAMME
DATES SURNAME BY ALPHABETS
13th October 2016 A – J
14th October 2016 K – Z

N-POWER BUILD PROGRAMME
DATES SURNAME BY ALPHABETS
15th October 2016 A – B
16th October 2016 C – I
17th October 2016 J – S
18th October 2016 T – Z

Government Is Creating Enabling Environment For Youths – Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari message to Nigerian youthsNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has reassured Nigerian youths of his administration’s commitment to creating an enabling environment that will ensure they realise their potentials.

The President’s statement was contained in his message on Friday to Nigerian youths to mark this year’s International Youth Day.

Government Belongs To You

“I am delighted to commemorate this occasion, the second such celebration since I took office.

“The roles that young Nigerians played in the historic election that brought our government to power will never be forgotten. This government belongs to you,” President Buhari stated.

He said that his administration was also mindful of the fact that Nigeria had one of the youngest populations in the world.

“Those young people are immensely energetic and talented, consistently blazing the trail in the arts, sports, business and technology. We are proud of what you have done and what you are able to do.”

Reeling out some initiatives of the government that are targeted at expanding the economic opportunities available to young Nigerians, the President said ‘N-Power’, a government job creation scheme, provided a platform for 500,000 young Nigerians to get jobs in the agriculture, education, healthcare and technology sectors.

“The Aso Villa Demo Day will soon bring 30 of the most innovative young Nigerians to the State House to showcase their talent in providing technology-based solutions to some of our most challenging problems.

“The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), part of our 500 billion Naira Social Investment Programme, will provide soft loans to thousands of young entrepreneurs across the country.

“These are just some of the many initiatives we have designed and are implementing for you,” he stressed, reminding the youths that they are the strength and future of Nigeria.

FG’s N-Power Job Portal Records 400,000 Registrations In 36 Hours

N-power, Job PortalThe newly launched job portal of the Federal Government “N-Power. gov.ng,” has recorded over 400,000 successful registrations since it opened for submissions on Sunday, June 12, 2016, the Job Creation Unit in the Presidency says.

“We have been very impressed by the enthusiastic response to the call for applications. As at noon on Monday June 13, only 36 hours after the launch of the portal, 403, 528 applicants had successfully registered on the site and were in the middle of completing the application process,” said the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Mr Afolabi Imoukhede.

“We are also very pleased that the registrations have been taking place without any hitches or system failures, considering the volume of response.

“All together the website has received over 35 million hits since Saturday midnight.”

The Jobs Scheme, known as ‘N-Power’, is one of the five initiatives of the Social Investment Programmes of the Federal Government of Nigeria, described by President Muhammadu Buhari in his Democracy Day Speech as “by far the most ambitious social protection programme” in Nigeria’s history.

The Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, in the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday, reiterated President Buhari’s promise that the application process would not only be structurally robust, transparent and fair, the selection process that will follow would also be based on objective criteria that has nothing to do with party affiliations.

Unemployed Nigerians both graduate and non-graduates would be drawn from across the country on state-by-state basis in the final analysis.

A total sum of 500 billion Naira has been provided for the programme in the 2016 budget, an unprecedented development in Nigeria’s budget history.

N-Power is designed to help young Nigerians acquire and develop life-long skills to become solution providers in their communities and to become players in the domestic and global markets.

It is expected to provide employment opportunities for 500,000 graduates as teachers, agriculture extension advisers, healthcare assistants, and civic and adult education instructors in communities across Nigeria.

There will also be a pool of 100,000 software developers, hardware service professionals, animators, graphic artists, building services professionals, artisans and others.

Applications for the scheme commenced on Sunday June 12 on the portal after which screening and shortlisting will be carried out.