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[Abuja]–The Federal Government of Nigeria has revealed that it will employ 400,000 youths in 2017 under the N-power Volunteer Corps scheme, initiated by the Buhari-led government.

According to a statement by Mr. Laolu Akande, the senior special assistant on media and publicity to the Vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo, the scheme which is a component of the government’s Social Investment Programmes will grant employment to 350,000 more unemployed graduates and 50,000 unemployed youths, who are to be engaged as artisans and in other creative ventures.

Akande said President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the appropriation of N157.75bn in the 2017 budget estimates for the N-Power scheme.

While he urged Nigerians to expect more initiatives especially in the area of implementation, he admitted that SIPs’ budget proposals for 2017 would be discussed this week at the National Assembly.

“350,000 unemployed graduates more would be hired and trained, alongside 50,000 non-graduates youths to be engaged as artisans and in other creative ventures,” Akande said.

It should be remembered that the scheme have started since 2016 in which Nigerians have benefited. “While we were able to engage 200,000 unemployed graduates last year, we will do 350,000 more this year,” he said.

He also disclosed that about N75bn had been allocated for the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme in the 2017 budget in a bid to fulfill the promises made by the Presidency.

He said that in the year 2016, over 20,000 Nigerians in 14 states had benefited from GEEP.

He added that N112.2bn had been allocated to the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme aimed at providing interest-free loans to 1.2 million market men and women, artisans, youths and farmers.

Akande said, “The plan in 2016 budget targeted one million poorest and vulnerable Nigerians. And in the 2017 budget, an additional N54.98bn has been allocated for the continuation of the N5,000 monthly social safety net payments to the poorest Nigerians.

2017 implementation of the SIPs is going to be far more impactful than what we were able to do under the 2016 budget.

So, Nigerians should expect more this year. The resolve of the Buhari presidency is that more lives must be touched positively under these programmes which Nigerians have come to appreciate.”

Copyright 2017 The Page. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thepageng.com as the source.



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