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Despite N4Billion Investment By Nigerian Government, 135 N-Skills Programme Beneficiaries Yet To Receive Kits To Further Training In Kwara

He dreamed of having a more meaningful life after completing the 9-month vocational skill training.

Damilola was excited when he was selected as one of 135 unemployed youths to be trained under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) on smartphone repair by the Nigerian government in Kwara State.

He dreamed of having a more meaningful life after completing the 9-month vocational skill training.

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But his joy was short-lived.

On the 25th of April when he completed the 3-month in-centre training, he could not move to the second segment of the programme —a 9-month apprenticeship, because like every other beneficiary, he was yet to receive the necessary tools that would earn him a place at the apprenticeship.

"If we don't go for that apprenticeship, the whole programme is useless. It is at that stage we can make use of what we were taught for the three months during the first segment.

 

"The government gave the tools to beneficiaries in Lagos, Adamawa, and some other states the very day they completed the training and enrolled them for the apprenticeship. But here in Kwara, after one month and several efforts, we don't know our fate. The stakeholders keep postponing the day they will be given.

"Are we not in the same country, why would beneficiaries in Lagos and Anambra be given these tools and they would neglect us in Kwara? That is not fair from the government," Damilola lamented.

In January, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the restructuring of NSIP to make it more impactful on the economy and to reach citizens.

This led to the introduction of the N-Skills Programme which is based on a certification system and accreditation of practical training provided through an 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 programme aims to improve the quality and relevance of skills delivered using certification systems to ease the transition of target beneficiaries to full-time skilled employment, self-employment and/or further their education. It targets marginalised and disadvantaged populations, including those with primary or no formal education.

"N-Skills accommodate many skills-based enterprises and the Smart Phone Repairs is used to pilot the programme under the N-Power non-graduate component. The Ministry worked with technical service providers to provide the N-Skills training services to 6,475 unemployed youths across the Federation," Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, disclosed this while speaking at the closing ceremony of the N-Skills Smart Phone Repairs training at Yaba, Lagos.

SaharaReporters gathered that the Nigerian Government split the states into different groups and claimed to have invested N4 billion in each group for this programme.

Kwara, Oyo, Benue, Kogi, Rivers, Lagos, Sokoto and Kebbi fall in the same group.

When reacting to SaharaReporters' finding, Kwara project manager for the training, Amb. Nkemakolam Okereke, admitted that none of the 135 beneficiaries had received the starter kit. 

"The kit contains all the tools they will use for the apprenticeship but we did not give it to them because they are not in store. They are not manufactured in Nigeria.”

But when asked why beneficiaries in some states like Lagos and Adamawa had been given while those in Kwara were neglected, he responded, "I am not in the best position to know that.”

He confirmed that any beneficiary of the programme without a kit would not be enrolled to further their training in the apprenticeship programme.

He, however, promised to resolve the Kwara issue before the end of June 2022.