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N-Power Team at Lokoja, Kogi State [www.dailyadvent.com]

The N-Power Focal Person in Ebonyi State, Ugo Nnachi has called on the Federal Government (FG) to permanently absorb the beneficiaries.

Concise News reports that Mrs Nnachi made this call in an interview with Premium Times recently.

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According to Mrs Nnachi, the FG needs to strengthen the supervision of the programme.

She also called on the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) to give the states the power to sanction and monitor the beneficiaries who abscond from duties.

“The programme is a good initiative, it is quite impactful. The programme has reached out to a lot of youth, taking them off the street.

“Give the state the powers to strictly supervise them (beneficiaries) and be part of the selection, even though we know the selection is done electronically.

“You know it is the state that is on the ground, they know the location properly.

“Some of the volunteers even stay in neighbouring states even while they were still serving as youth corps members and they were registered as N-power volunteers.

“All this happened because they know they are not supervised,” she said.

 According to Mrs Nnachi, permanent employment (for the volunteers) would aide better supervision. “It would be better when you give them permanent employment.

“It means that they have someone who is supervising them and know that the moment they don’t perform or go to their place of assignments they would be removed.”

As well, she recommended vocational training skills for the beneficiaries to keep them abreast and gain more knowledge.

Furthermore, she called on all beneficiaries to be committed to their duty.

“The problem is not with the federal and state, it is with the beneficiaries in terms of absconding. They lack the commitment, may be because they feel it is not permanent.

“The beneficiaries should be committed to what they are doing. The programme is very good and it is helpful.”

N-Power was introduced with the aim of reducing unemployment among Nigerian graduates and non-graduates between the ages of 18 and 35.

Volunteers are paid N30,000 monthly as stipend and given tablet computers to aid further learning.

Under the N-Power, unemployed graduates are engaged in critical sectors like education, agriculture, and health while non-graduates are enrolled in the infrastructural sector.

The N-Power programme started in 2016 with over 200,000 thousand young Nigerians selected in the first phase.

Those selected have received the stipends for two years under the N-Teach, N-Agro or N-Health components. N-Build and N-Tax were later introduced in 2017.

The N-Teach component is the most popular, due to a large number of youth deployed to teach in public schools across the country.