Commentary on Npower Programme

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N-power, is a Federal Government initiative targeted at training and empowering 600,000 young Nigerians to drive social and economic development. The programme is segmented into 3 areas namely, N-Power Teachers Corps- 500,000 graduates, N-Power Knowledge – 25,000 non-graduates, N-Power Build- 75,000 non-graduates. See full details of the Programme on the Npower website.

 A school of thought have opined that the N-power programme is a duplication and somewhat extension of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme. Do we now say that the Npower scheme offers a lifeline to “lazy” Nigerian youths who did not make the best of their service year?

I remember my first day at Ijaloke Community School, Emure-Ekiti; my place of primary assignment as a corp member, one of the older corp members said to me, “You will have enough time to watch movies and sleep”, I looked at him in disbelief and replied, “I don’t see myself watching movies and sleeping for a year. I will rather spend my time adding value and impacting the students and community members”.  

To would be beneficiaries of the Npower scheme, I pray you will get it right this time by not repeating the mistakes you made during your service year.

Let me sound a note of warning to individuals who see the Npower programme as an avenue to merely earn monthly stipends. Individuals with such mindsets have a tendency to end up as wretched church rats.

To would be beneficiaries of the Npower scheme, to make the best of the opportunities the program offers, you should answer this question – what am I going to do with the skills I will acquire at the end of the program? It’s very important you decide what you will make of the program from the onset.

While the training is on, open your mind to the opportunities around you – the ability to recognize available opportunities is a skill to have, even if you are not disposed to taking such opportunities at that particular instance. It is equally important that you do not limit your post training plans to paid employment. This will enable you take full advantage of the opportunities within your immediate surroundings.

For those who will fall in the N-Power Teachers Corps category, I understand that the training will last for 2 years. Do not wait until the end of the training before deciding what to make of the knowledge and experience gathered. The “empowerment” the programme holds is not in the 23,000 Naira stipend you will earn while the training lasts, rather it is about what you will make of the knowledge acquired. In what ways will you transform the 23,000 Naira into products and services worth over 500,000 Naira etc How can you explore the mobile technology and internet to make a difference with the knowledge you will acquire? Your focus should always be on what you can do with the acquired knowledge. The reason for this is not far-fetched; employers of labour are on the lookout for employees who take initiative.

For those who will be enrolled into the Innovation and building aspect of the Npower scheme, I congratulate you in advance and will like to prepare your mind in advance, 3 months will not make you an expert in your chosen field. Regular practice during and after the training period combined with hard work and positivism – can do spirit will see you become an expert someday. Also be on the lookout for opportunities to showcase your skills.

Post training: do not despise the days of little beginning. For instance, as a graphic artiste, you may be approached to create logo, design banners at rates well below the amount charged by professionals in the industry. Do not turned down such offers, executing such jobs helps to build your work profile and validate your skills. In the near future, your worth will increase greatly and you will earn as much as the professionals do.

Summarily, the application of the knowledge the Npower will provide is the empowerment that the programme offers.

Finally, hone your people skills and ability to work with a team, reach out and network with other professionals.

Suggested Article: 5 Survival Strategies for Unemployed Nigerian Youths, Graduates.

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