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Unfulfilled promises: N-Power scheme’s inability to provide sustained employment opportunities in Nigeria

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By Ijanada David Satumari

In an effort to combat high youth unemployment rates and provide a lifeline for millions of young Nigerians, the N-Power initiative was launched in 2016 as part of a broader social investment program. This scheme promised to empower graduates and non-graduates by offering them temporary employment and skills training. However, over the years, it has become clear that the N-Power scheme has failed to fulfill its primary objective of providing sustainable employment opportunities. Despite the initial enthusiasm and promising intentions, the program has been unable to address the underlying issues of unemployment that plague Nigeria.
One of the key challenges faced by the N-Power initiative is the lack of adequate infrastructural support necessary to ensure the successful integration of beneficiaries into the workforce. Many beneficiaries were assigned to sectors that faced chronic unemployment, such as agriculture, education, and health. However, the lack of proper resources, training, and infrastructure has hindered their ability to contribute effectively, rendering their employment temporary and unsustainable.
The N-Power scheme was initially marketed as a solution to the pervasive unemployment crisis, with promises of opening numerous job opportunities for a substantial number of applicants. However, the reality has been far from this idealistic vision. The number of available positions has been grossly insufficient to accommodate the high influx of applicants, leaving countless hopeful individuals stuck in a cycle of uncertainty.
While the N-Power scheme aimed to enhance the employability of participants through skill acquisition, the quality and relevance of the provided training programs have been called into question. Many beneficiaries have reported that the skills acquired are incompatible with the demands of the current job market, leaving them unprepared and unable to secure sustainable employment even after completing the program.

After the completion of the N-Power program, beneficiaries are left to navigate the competitive job market independently. The scheme lacks a comprehensive job placement support system that connects graduates with suitable employment opportunities. Consequently, graduates are ill-equipped to compete with better-prepared candidates, leading to unsuccessful job searches and a return to the cycle of unemployment.
Another significant failure of the N-Power scheme lies in the absence of a rigorous monitoring and evaluation process. Proper assessment and feedback mechanisms are essential for measuring effectiveness and addressing program shortcomings. The lack of transparency and accountability within the scheme hampers its ability to identify areas of improvement and make necessary adjustments to ensure better outcomes.
Despite its commendable intentions and initial optimism, the N-Power scheme in Nigeria has fallen short of its promised objectives. The inability to provide sustained employment opportunities and address the underlying issues of unemployment highlight the need for a more comprehensive and sustainable approach. As Nigeria grapples with an ever-growing youth population seeking employment, it is imperative for the government to invest in strategies that address the root causes of unemployment, improve skills acquisition programs, foster job creation, and provide a supportive framework that bridges the gap between education and employment. Only through these concerted efforts can Nigeria truly provide sustainable employment for its youth, paving the way for a brighter and prosperous future.

Ijanada David Satumari
Department of Mass Communication
University of Maiduguri

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