In January 2017, successful applicants of the N-Power programme protested at the State House of Assembly over non-commencement of the programme in the State. The first phase which kicked off in December 2016 with the deployment of volunteers to their duty posts in other parts of the country was yet to start in Lagos. By March, the protesters were back again at the State Assembly protesting non-deployment and non-payment of their stipends since December. They stated that they were only verified after their initial protest in January after which they were left in limbo.
The Lagos Coordinator for N-Power, Mrs Shola Falana had in her reaction to the protests attributed the delay in the commencement of the programme to the volume of applicants which she put at 11,000. That excuse is neither here nor there because the State, being the most populated in the country should have anticipated the huge number and put in place adequate logistics to cater to them.
For the N-Power programme to work seamlessly, there should be effective collaboration between States and the Federal Government. Though it is a Federal Government programme, young Nigerians resident in States are the beneficiaries, therefore it is a win-win situation for States. Not a few youths are groaning under the yoke of unemployment so efforts to mitigate it and bring succour should be embraced by all strata of government.
As the second phase of N-Power recruitment get underway, it is hoped that Lagos State and other states that faced challenges would have put their house in order. Adequate planning should be made to ensure a seamless deployment of volunteers to their place of primary assignment. Public primary schools and Primary Health Centres (PHCs) should be priority in this regard to address shortage of teachers and health personnel respectively.
N-Power is the job creation and empowerment scheme of the Federal Government,twitter:@npower_ng