N-Power Batch C2 officially flags off in Cross River

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N-Power Batch C Stream II Programme has been officially flagged off in Cross River State as processes for the deployment of beneficiaries to their Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) are now in top gear.

Speaking at a ceremony in Calabar on Thursday to mark the full commencement of the programme in the state, the Focal Person and Commissioner for Humanity and Social Welfare, Hon. (Mrs) Blessing Egbara, said the flagging off of the N-Power Batch C Stream II Programme is an indication of Federal Government’s commitment towards providing a shoulder for less privileged persons, especially the unemployed youths to lean on.

Egbara who was represented by Barr. Sylvanus Inyang, a legal adviser in the Ministry, said the Buhari-led administration has sustained the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs) in order to cushion the effects of economic hardship and difficulties in the society.

According to her, “Flagging it off about 6 or 7 months to the end of his administration is something very commendable because it presupposes the fact that the beneficiaries are going to outlive his administration.

“Ordinarily, one would have thought that whatever he had initiated would have end upon the conclusion of his government, but because he has a good heart, he’s still continuing with the programme to sustain his goodwill to the people.”

She said the impact of the N-Power Programme has been positive in the state as “so many of the beneficiaries have been deployed to schools to assist in teaching pupils. Of recent the scope of N-Power has been widened to accommodate those in the agric, building and health sectors. Many skills have also been introduced to be learned by beneficiaries. In Cross River State the programme has helped to reduce criminality, especially among youths who hitherto were idle.”

While strongly warning against dereliction of their duties, the Focal Person charged beneficiaries to make maximum use of the opportunity provided them in the N-Power programme to develop their capacity in the best way possible.

She, however, urged heads of PPA to ensure that beneficiaries posted to their establishments are effectively supervised throughout the period of their engagements, adding that adequate supervision is necessary for the programme to achieve its set goals.

On his part, the Programme Manager for N-Power, Mr Samuel Bassey, said beneficiaries were given orientation on how the programme works so as to know what is expected from them.

He disclosed that Cross River currently has a total of 6,857 beneficiaries in the N-Power Batch C Stream II, of which 1,281 fall under the non graduate category.

Giving an assessment of N-Power in the state so far, the Programme Manager said, “I cannot help but appreciate the government for giving us the scheme. It has been very impactful. For instance, in Batch C Stream I, we have beneficiaries who actually helped out in various levels. We have them in the primary schools, health facilities in the state. We have them in agric facilities and they have been helping to fill the gap in manpower needs in those sectors.

“Teachers and other stakeholders have been commending their efforts and contributions to the success and growth of the various PPAs they’ve been assigned to. The non graduate programme, N-Build has been very impactful. The other day we went to evaluate the programme and we saw the various impact it has, even at the grassroots. We saw some trainees becoming expert mechanics and are now having their own workshops where they repair vehicles. We are having success story all around the programmes.

“For me I believe that the programme has been a success. However, there is still need for continuous sensitization and reorientation for beneficiaries – like what we are doing right now – so that they don’t forget why they are in the programme. I am praying that this initiative should be sustained beyond this administration. It should be adapted because it is very sellable and impactful. If worked upon it has the potential to yield astronomical result.”

Speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries, Elizabeth Utsu, expressed excitement for being part of the N-Power Batch C Stream II. She said the scheme would help them to showcase their skills and also get empowered in the process.

Thanking the Federal Government for coming up with the NSIPs, Utsu pleaded that the programme should be sustained, because according to her, it has become a stopgap to youth unemployment in the country.