Sadiya Umar-Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, says no fewer than 473,137 Nigerian youths have been enrolled into the National Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government.
Ms Umar-Farouq made the disclosure when members of the House of Representatives Committee on Poverty Alleviation visited her on Monday in Abuja.
The minister said that the programme, popularly known as N-Power, was aimed at driving skill development and job creation for unemployed Nigerian youths between the ages of 18 and 35.
“As at Feb. 25, there are 473,137 Nigerians enrolled into the programme.
“The N-Power Graduate Programme is the Federal Government’s direct intervention to tackle youth unemployment and re-energise public service delivery in four key sectors, that is, education, agriculture, health and tax
“The mandate will be achieved by training and providing jobs for 500, 000 young Nigerian graduates across the 774 local government areas of the federation,” Ms Umar-Farouq said.
She explained that there was an ongoing process to overhaul the N-Power scheme, the National Home Grown Feeding Programme, NHGSFP, and other social investment programmes to ensure maximum transparency, efficiency and more prudent application of resources.
Ms Umar-Farouq said that the HGSFP team had recently concluded its work plan for 2020, adding, however, that the programme had commenced in Kwara State.
On the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme, GEEP, the minister said that the position of the ministry was to continue the programme with revolving loans.
“We also want to seek approval for continuity during this period of transition to avoid disruption to the beneficiaries,” she said.
Ms Umar-Farouq stressed that the National Cash Transfer Programme was ongoing, adding that the ministry was reaching out to increase the number of beneficiaries.
Speaking earlier, the chairman of the committee, Dr Abdullahi Salame, said that the purpose of their visit was to familiarise themselves with the ministry and its responsibilities, and to assist it in achieving its mandate.
“Let me use this medium to once again commend President Muhammadu Buhari for finding it worthy to create a ministry saddled with the enormous task of coordinating human services, including overseeing the activities of the Special Intervention Programme.
“Incidentally, the huge poverty gap in the country has been identified as the root cause of crime, violence and social vices in our society.
“There is the need to appreciate the critical role of poverty alleviation in the quest to achieve social and national development as well as violence and crime control,” Mr Salame said.