By Ismaila Chafe
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N5.5 billion for the training and provision of devices to 12,000 youths in N-Power Knowledge Multi-Track Youth Empowerment Programme.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, who disclosed this at the end of FEC meeting, said the programme targets young Nigerians between the ages of 18 years and 25 years.
He added that the programme intended to transform the youths from unemployed, under-employed trainees to employed citizens and entrepreneurs.
The minister revealed that a training firm would be working with officials of Social Investment Programme on the project.
He pointed out that the training programme would cost N259,000 per youth and N207,000 for the work tools.
“One of the projects approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) today is N-Power Knowledge Multi-Track Youth Empowerment Programme knowledge.
“This programme targets 12,000 young Nigerians of between the ages of 18-25 years. It is meant to give them trainings and devices. The trainings intend to transform the 12,000 beneficiaries from unemployed, under-employed trainees to employed citizens and entrepreneurs.
“It will deliver to 12,000 beneficiaries informed trainings which will enable beneficiaries build and imbibe technical proficiency such as assembling, repairs, maintenance as well as technology skills and digital literacy across a wide range of electronic brands, products and technology.
“(It) can be grouped into three areas – mobile devices, computing devices and commonly used electronic devices irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds.
“It’s a programme that is open to all unemployed youths across the six geopolitical zones.
“Each of the 12,000 targeted beneficiaries will be empowered to train 5,000 youths via a training platform which means they will need to translate the jobs to 60,000 additional jobs because each of the 12,000 is empowered to train five other youths via a training platform and engage them on his or her platform,’’ he said.
He revealed that the training contract, which was awarded to Messrs Softcam, was expected to be completed in nine months.
Also, the Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, disclosed that the council approved additional financing of 6.8millin dollars sought as a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
“Today, at FEC, I presented a memo seeking the approval of council for additional financing, the sum of $6.8 million sought as a loan from AfDB to finance inclusive basic service delivery and livelihood empowerment integrated programme for the rebuilding of the North-east.
“There was a previous facility which included coverage of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States, and some specific institutions were beneficiaries.
“But there is a federal science and technology college in Lassa, Borno State that was one of the beneficiaries.
“But because of insurgency, it suffered severely. It could not be carried out because of the activities of insurgents.
“Now, what we are trying to do is to go back to the projects, to this particular institution to make sure we are able to rehabilitate the institution and also undertake a complete skill, training and educational project that will mitigate against the challenges that the institution has had.”
Ahmed further explained that the facility was a concessionary loan with an interest rate of one per cent and payable over a 30-year period with five years moratorium.
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