BusinessDay

FG invests $1b annually to reduce poverty – Umar Farouq

The federal government Tuesday said it has been providing about $1b annually since 2016 to improve the lives and well-being of the poor and vulnerable persons across the states.

Sadiya Umar Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, made this known in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital at the closing ceremony of the N-Skills training program of the federal government on Smartphone repairs which she described as a commitment to collectively address youth unemployment and reduce poverty in Nigeria.

N-Skill is one of the social investment programs initiated by President Mohammed Buhari’s government.

Represented by her Special Assistant on Administration, Kingsley Ngene, Faro explained that since the beginning of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government in 2015, the Federal Government has ensured that the poor and vulnerable were included in all social programs to reduce poverty.

“This informed the decision to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) in 2016 as a strategy for enhancing social inclusion. NSIP is, so far, recognized as one of the largest social protection programs in Africa with about $1billion invested annually to improve the lives of the poor and most vulnerable in the country.

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“In furtherance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for the restructuring of NSIP, processes have been instituted to institutionalize the NSIP and to make it more impactful on the economy and to reach citizens. This led to the introduction of the N-Skills program, which is based on a certification system and accreditation of practical training provided through the informal apprenticeship System anchored by Master Craft Persons (MCPs) and the formal training system including using the Community Skills Development Centres (COSDECs) in many States.

“The program aims to improve the quality and relevance of skills delivered using a certification system and to ease the transition of target beneficiaries to full-time skilled employment, self-employment, and/or further their education. It targets marginalized
and disadvantaged populations, including those with primary or no-formal education.

“The N-Skills program is in line with the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) for the development, classification, and recognition of skills, knowledge, and competencies acquired by individuals, irrespective of where and how the training or skill is acquired. It will help in bridging the gap in demand for standard and market-relevant skills.

“While the N-Skills accommodates many skills-based enterprises, this Smart Phone Repairs is used to pilot the program under the N-Power non-graduate component. This is consistent with the national aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“The program is designed to train, tool and transition marginalized unemployed youths into the labor market to gainfully be employed. The Ministry worked with technical service providers to provide the N-Skills training services to 6,475 unemployed youths across the Federation.

“Through the N-Power program, the provision of much-needed services in the education, health, and agricultural sectors will be enhanced in the State and the beneficiaries will be engaged in income-generating activities that would contribute to local economic growth”, she said.

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