The Presidency said on Sunday that its Social Investment Programmes, SIP, had a plan to hire 350,000 more unemployed graduates under the N-Power Volunteer Corps in 2017.
According to the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, President Muhammadu Buhari has requested appropriation of N157.75 billion in the budget for the N-Power scheme.
He said that in addition to the 350,000 unemployed graduates to be hired and trained, 50,000 non-graduate youth would be engaged as artisans and in other creative ventures.
He said that from the allocation the administration had earmarked N4.5 billion for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, (STEM) programme to support young Nigerians in building skills in those disciplines.
Mr. Akande, who welcomed the great public enthusiasm the SIP programmes had so far generated, urged Nigerians to expect more this year especially in the area of implementation.
“While we were able to engage 200,000 unemployed graduates last year, we will do 350,000 more this year,” he assured.
Mr. Akande disclosed that about N75 billion was earmarked for the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme to provide one meal a day to five million primary school pupils.
He said that in 2016 the feeding programme covered about one million pupils.
Mr. Akande said the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme aimed at providing interest-free loans to up to 1.2 million market men and women, traders, artisans, youths and farmers was allocated N112.2 billion.
He said: “2017 implementation of the SIP is going to be far more impactful than what we were able to do under the 2016 budget, so Nigerians should expect more this year.
“The resolve of the Buhari presidency is firm that more lives must be touched positively under these programmes which Nigerians have come to appreciate.”
He, therefore, urged Nigerians to actively take advantage of the different schemes this year.