IMPACT OF N-POWER PROGRAMME ON YOUTH EMPOWERMENT IN NIGERIA
This research examined N-power programme as a veritable tool for youth empowerment in Nigeria. As the nation is presently experiencing challenges of unemployment, insecurity, and high rate of poverty, the study observed that one of the most efficient ways to empower the youth is through N-power programme. The study took a critical look at the benefits of N-power programme such as provision of individual with adequate training that will enable creativity and innovative relevance to skill acquisition which encourages self-employment and self-reliant. The programme reviewed some techniques of acquiring skills which includes industrial training exercise, workshop/seminar, excursion and this aid in the empowerment of youth and consequently eradication of poverty and extreme hunger. The study identified challenges facing N-power programme such as inadequate funding, lack of trained teachers, and non- availability of equipment.
- Background of the study
N-Power is a youth empowerment scheme sponsored by the Federal Government of Nigeria. N-Power addresses the challenge of youth unemployment by providing a structure for large-scale and relevant work skills acquisition and development while linking its core and outcomes to fixing inadequate public services and stimulating the larger economy. N-Power aspires to provide a platform where most Nigerians can access skills acquisition and development. N-Power is designed for Nigerian citizens between the ages of 18 and 35. The modular programmes under N-Power will ensure that each participant will learn and practice most of what is necessary to find or create work.
However, Nigeria, a country with an estimated population of 170 million people (NBS, 2013) is well endowed with abundant human and natural resources and a favorable geographical location in the world map. The current global financial crisis has impacted negatively on the macro and micro levels of the economy of Nigeria. As at present, the situation has poses serious threats and challenges to both government and well meaning citizens. Nigeria like most developing nations of the world is faced with myriad of problems which include youth and graduate unemployment, high rate of poverty, conflict and diseases, insincerity, over-depending in foreign goods, low economic growth and development, lack of capacity and skills needed to move the economy forward and urbanization. Unemployment has become a major problem bedeviling the lives of Nigerian Youth causing frustration, dejection and depending on family members and friends. The high rate of unemployment among the youths in Nigeria has contributed to the high rate of poverty and insecurity in the country (Ajufo, 2013). More than half of the Nigerian population is under the age of 30 according to the National Population Commission (2013). Awogbenle and Iwuamad(2010) observed from the excepts of statistics obtained from the National Manpower Board and Federal Bureau of statistics that Nigeria has a youth population of eighty (80) Million representing 60 percent of the total population of the country. Sixty four (64) Million of them are unemployed while one million six hundred thousand (1.6 million) are underemployed. According to Ossal and Nwalado (2012) the need for N-power programme started emerging in the mid-1980s, when there were political instability and inconsistencies in the socio-economic policies of successive government, high level of unemployment, large scale lay off of workers and early retirements as a result of structural adjusted policies and bad economic trends. In the face of these challenges there was no encouragement from the federal government for public and private investors to embark on empowerment activities. These situations pose great challenges to the very existence of individuals and the national development. To salvage these situations there is need for the training of educated man and woman who can function effectively in their society in which they live in terms of self-employment and self-reliant which N-Power programme can provide. Based upon this premise, the study examined N-Power programme as a veritable tool for youth empowerment in Nigeria.
Nigeria faces a number of challenges that can only be met if she has innovative, well-educated, and willing to be trained citizens who, whatever their walks of life, have the spirit and inquisitiveness to think in new ways, and the courage to meet and adapt to the challenges facing them. At same time, given the current socio-economic and political stance of the country, a thriving economy would require a greater number of young people who are willing and able to be trained; who can launch and successfully develop their own commercial or social ventures, and who will become innovators in the wider organisations in which they work. European Scientific Journal October 2013 edition vol.9, No.28 ISSN: 1857 – 7881 (Print) e – ISSN 1857- 7431 114 It is a common experience that many graduates from the Nigerian universities find it difficult to get employment every year. This is partly due to the curricula of the universities and other tertiary institutions which lay emphasis on training for white-collar jobs (Osibanjo, 2006). The socioeconomic situation in Nigeria poses serious threats and challenges to both government and wellbeing of citizens of the nation as a whole. The unemployment problems further call for different strategies and actions for it to be ameliorated. N-Power programme has been embraced by almost all the Nigerian youths and its capabilities and efficacy in springing up economies is not in doubt. It is believed that refocusing N-Power programme will immensely contribute in developing the spirit and culture of empowerment in country N-Power programme is essential not only to shape the mindsets of young people but also to provide the skills and knowledge that are central to developing an empowerment culture. N-Power programme provides unemployed youths motivation, knowledge, and skills essential for launching a successful venture company (Cho, 2017). Developing mindsets, generic attributes and skills that are the foundations of N-Power can be achieved through indoctrination from an early stage; that is, if it is incorporated into the national system with the seriousness it deserves. Because employment is key to shaping young people’s attitudes, skills and culture, it is vital that N-Power programme is addressed from an early stage and up into level of sustainability.
N-Power programme should be available to all unemployed regardless of major courses and choice of studies to enhance competitive advantage, not only for students but the societies and nations where they are involved. The relationship between empowerment and development has been established, such that empowerment is now internationally accepted as a key development index. The importance of empowerment cannot be overemphasized; it is a fundamental human right, hence, the need for incorporating N-Power programme in the unemployment alleviated system. In line with the above, this study is discussed under the following heading: conceptual framework, importance of N-Power programme, need for N-Power programme , rationale for fostering N-Power programme and its achievements as well as problems for effective implementation of N-Power programme in Nigeria. Finally, the way forward will be highlighted.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Analysis of youth unemployment by geographical/settlement location (rural and urban areas) indicates that youth unemployment is mostly in rural areas and rapidly growing: From 2011 to 2017, the share of unemployed youth in rural areas increased from 47.59 percent to 59.95 percent. The population of unemployed youth in rural areas rose from 2.9 million in 2010 to about 5.9 million in 2016. Public policies directed at addressing youth unemployment have faced different challenges including finance, the absence of good administration and implementation, inconsistent policies, unimpressive responses from would-be trainees, and unqualified resource personnel handling the training programs. Programs that were expected to be successful but did not meet those expectations were those created in the 1980s and have not drastically improved in spite of modifications over the years. For example, the National Accelerated Poverty Reduction Program (NAPEP) was too big for its meager budgetary allocation over the years. Many of the available funds for the program went to overhead and administrative costs in offices spread over the entire country, limiting its impact. Similarly, the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) had no openings of its own to engage unemployed youth, providing only vocational training to young school leavers. There have been insufficient funds to provide start-off capital for the youth who complete their training. It against this background that this study intends to examine the impact and possibility of N-Power programme not being unsuccessful.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of N-Power programme in youth empowerment in Nigeria.
Specific objectives of this study are to:
- Evaluate the value of N-Power programme amongst youth in Nigeria
- To ascertain how well N-Power programme as enhance youth empowerment
- To ascertain the upshot of N-Power programme on the productivity of the youth
- To evaluate how well is N-Power programme implemented in organizations.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research question was postulated for the successful completion of the studies
- What is the plus point of N-Power programme among youths in Nigeria?
- How does N-Power programme enhance economic growth?
- What is the upshot of N-Power programme on youth productivity?
- How has N-Power programme enhance youth empowerment?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is imperative to know that at the completion of this study the findings will be beneficial to the government (ministry of youth and sport), the potential social welfare in human capital development, and skill acquisition, the academia, youths and the general public.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study covers N-Power programme on youth empowerment in Nigeria. However, this study has some limitations, which are:
Finance: finance is a major limitation to the study as resources allocated to the study is limited
Time: time is a major constrain to the research as time allocated to the study is very limited.
Research material: availability of research material is a major setback to the scope of the study.
IMPACT OF N-POWER PROGRAMME ON YOUTH EMPOWERMENT IN NIGERIA