No fewer than 50,000 non-graduate applicants in the N-Power volunteer programme would be deployed in late September and trained in October, the Presidential aide on job creation and youth empowerment, Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, has said.
Imoukhuede on Tuesday in Abuja said that the deployment was delayed to enable the job creation team to provide all needed training materials for the volunteers.
He explained that the volunteers would be deployed to begin three-month vocational training in seven disciplines followed by a nine-month apprenticeship in related industries before venturing into self-employment.
He said that September deployment was because officials had mapped the volunteers who applied in 2016 to go to the various centres for physical verification to ensure that those in existing N-Power scheme were removed.
He said, “Contracts were awarded as at end of June and as I speak now literally all contractors have delivered to the six zonal warehouses that we then appointed.
“So we have a warehouse for South South in Edo which is a gateway into South South, for South East we have a warehouse in Umuahia, for South West we have Lagos.
“For North East, we have Yola, for North West we have in Kaduna and for North Central, we have a warehouse in Abuja.
“These are zonal warehouses that have received tools for all the vocational trades from automobile to carpentry and all the seven disciplines.
“In addition to that the training consumables that the centres would also use to bring the volunteers to the level of industry competence were also procured and distributed in all the six zonal warehouses,’’ said the aide.
He said that the reason it was done was that one could really begin to measure standards.
“So, there will be no case of the training being given out in Yobe different from the one in Kaduna or in Umuahia and also no question of some centres having consumables and others claiming they were not supplied,’’ he explained.
The presidential aide said that a centre assessment committee, with the Labour Minister as Chair and him as alternate chair, was set up early in the year to visit the zones.
He said that with the committee the N-Power team had actually gone around the country and picked again three states in each geopolitical zone plus Lagos and Abuja.
Accordingly, he said, that the training centres were now in 19 states and FCT, adding that all the centres are recommended for training and retreats across the country.
“What we are doing from here is to map the volunteers to these centres because we did take applications for the non-graduates last year.
“In 2016, we had 315,000 graduates and 301,000 non-graduate applications.
“Out of the 301,000 applications 124,000 of them were for the vocational trades in the seven disciplines,’’ Imoukhuede said.