The Federal Government says it has begun a six-week training for 6,475 youths on smartphone repairs to reduce unemployment and poverty in the country.
Hajiya Sadiya Umat-Faruoq, Minister for Humanitarian, Disaster Management and Social Development, disclosed this at the inauguration of the N-Skills programme on Wednesday in Bauchi.
She said that N-Skills was a pilot project designed to be conducted under the non-graduate programme to empower youths and fight poverty in the country.
“The smart phone repair programme is use to pilot the N-Skills programme, which is part of the N-Power non-graduate programme.
“It is consistent with the national aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“The programme is designed to train, tool and stimulate transition of marginalised unemployed youths into the labour market for gainful employment,” she said.
According to her, the ministry is working with selected consulting firms to equip, provide vocational and enterprising skills to the 6,475 beneficiaries across the country.
“This will enable the targeted beneficiaries to meet the minimum technical and business requirements for certification by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), and to enhance their entrepreneurial competencies to successfully start and manage smart phone repairs and servicing businesses.,” she said.
The minister said the beneficiaries would be provided with a Starter Packs at the end of the exercise, to enable them to set up their businesses.
She said the ministry had introduced the N-Skills programme to scale up implementation of the N-SIP programme sequel to the approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, to restructure the programme in line with the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy.
She said that the N-Skills training would be provided through the informal apprenticeship System anchored by Master Craft Persons (MCPs) and the formal training system using the Community Skills Development Centres (COSDECs).
According to Umar-Farouq, the programme aims to improve the quality and facilitate transition of the beneficiaries to full-time skilled employment, self-employment and an opportunity to further their education.
She said that the N-Skills programme would help to bridge the gap in demand for standard and market relevant skills.
“Beneficiaries are selected to explore the job and wealth creation opportunities in the telecommunication sector; which is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Nigerian economy,” she added.
The minister revealed that the number of beneficiaries of the graduate and non-graduate components of the N-Power programme has increased to 16,820 from 12,878 under Batches A, B and C in Bauchi State.
The minister also inspected the new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects in some public secondary schools in Bauchi.
She said that, “STEM is part of the N-Power junior programme. We are setting up STEM Centers in 12 Federal and State Government secondary schools in Bauchi State.”
She said that the centers were designed to enhance digital literacy, functional skills acquisition, adding that it would also contribute to the development of school infrastructure, teacher training and human capital needed for a knowledge-driven economy.
Some of the centers visited include the Federal Government Girls College, Bauchi; Government Girls Secondary School, Bauchi and Special Education Center, Bauchi, among others.
Also speaking, Mrs Amina Katagum, the N-SIP Focal Person in the state, said that 300 youths had benefited from the N-skills programme.
Katagum reiterated the state government commitment towards ensuring effective implementation of the SIP programme.
One of the beneficiaries, Kabir Ahmed,, lauded the gesture, adding that he would used the skills to set up his business.