As they continue their push for permanency in civil service, leadership of the 2016 N-Power beneficiaries have written a well articulated letter to President Mohammadu Buhari.
In the letter obtained by CNR Nigeria, the volunteers outlined the reasons why the Federal Government and the Presidency should not send N-Power volunteers back to the streets when they complete the two year duration in the scheme.
Below is the full text of the letter addressed to President Mohammadu Buhari and copied to other relevant stakeholders and government ministries.
PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI,
COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES,
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA,
PLEA FOR PERMANENT STATUS FOR N-POWER BENEFICIARIES
We, the representatives of all N-power volunteers from the thirty six states of the federation including Abuja, humbly write to your venerated office for our absorption into the permanent civil service.
Permit us at this juncture to acknowledge the efforts of your government in creating an environment of equal opportunities and equitable atmosphere for all, without any bias of whatsoever form. Most importantly sir, we wish to register our utmost and sincere appreciations to your administration for the new breeze of hopes and aspirations injected into a long suffering and neglected youths, viable segment of the masses, through the Social Investment Programmes (SIP).
Sir, it is countless to still say your initiative has brought back the lost glory through the Social Investment Programmes which thousands of Nigerians from all brackets of ages are currently benefiting from and which gives every Nigerian a true sense of belonging without any traceable iota of religious, tribal and political undertone. This is undeniably a landmark in the history of this nation that has proven to be truly designed for the poor and neglected masses, without any form of manipulations.
As a sub-unit of the Social Investment Programmes, the N-Power Initiative Scheme has come as a succor to millions of young Nigerians, graduates and non graduates, skilled and unskilled, to putting smiles on our faces and giving us hopes of a better Nigeria of equal opportunities and promising days ahead.
In view of the aforementioned, we hereby use this avenue to register our unreserved appreciations. We, the entire elite Nigerian youths, under the aegis of The Nationwide N-Power Volunteers from the thirty six states of the federation and FCT, shall ever remain grateful to the ingenious mind behind the N-Power Initiative Scheme and other sister programmes under the umbrella of the Social Investment Programmes (SIP).
Dear sir, the intervention of the programme has been a blessing to many Nigerians, and for the umpteenth time, we wish to express our profound gratitude for giving ordinary and teaming Nigerian youths such rare opportunities to contributing our own quota to the developmental process of our great country under your able leadership. Therefore, Praising you for such privileges can never be overemphasized.
The truth is that Npower Initiative Scheme (NIS), like other Social Investment Programmes (SIP), has emerged as a palliative and temporary measure to address the alarming effects of mass unemployment of young graduates of our Nation. We fully acknowledge the fact that the scheme was designed to be run for a period of twenty four months (two years).
All the above mentioned are not deniable and we do not intend to dispute any of them. But your Excellency, with due respect to your esteemed office and your revered personality, permit us to make our case from the foregoing.
Statistically, 75% of this current batch of the scheme are N-teach volunteers who are engaged in various public schools as teaching staff. Every new experience we come across is basically and directly related to the teaching profession we have been trained for. This is what goes on in other tiers of the scheme namely N-Agro and N-Health. Besides, most of us basically live on the stipends paid to us, mainly for our transportations to and from our respective places of primary assignment, our feedings and other basic necessities we need to acquire. It is practically impossible for us to still have a saving out of the stipends, most especially in this economic reality where the price of goods and services have skyrocketed in the market; not even minding some other inevitable domestic responsibilities to cater for.
Your Excellency Sir, we are not trying to put to doubt the goodwill in the concept of the scheme and its already visible and felt effects across board, but we only wish to draw your attention to other salient realities we are confronted with, and make possible suggestions for eventual considerations.
We think there is an absolute need for your administration to look into the functionality of an unemployment eradicating mechanism that takes into consideration a lasting employability and self-reliance measures and turn the large number of unemployed graduates into a force of development in the short and long terms by engaging them permanently.
We suggest there should be well synergized plans between the federal and state governments to integrate and absorb these trained and well equipped and dedicated young graduates into a workable system where they can fully and profitably utilize and put into practice all the skills they have acquired over time. That will further enhance and justify the very purpose of implementation of the scheme: reducing youth unemployment and poverty in the society.
Abandoning us back to the streets where we were once picked from to infuse our creative energetic abilities might have detrimental effects on our collective well being as a nation.
Already, the scheme has made and still making tremendous and incommensurable landmark achievements, going by the uncountable daily success stories that are flooding the social media sphere, and more practically, the real impacts it has brought to individuals at different levels in the society, both the direct beneficiaries of the scheme, and the anomalies it was meant to correct. Permit us to redundantly delve a little on this.
The Educational Sector.
This sector has highly been boosted by the presence of volunteers in schools. The perennial lack of teachers in our educational system has been filled with well trained, youthful, energetic and passionate N-teach beneficiaries. Subjects which remained for years untaught are now being taught efficiently. Classrooms abandoned by the scanty number of teachers are all given adequate monitoring. Pupils and students half baked or previously not even taught are being handled with the most modern educational teaching and learning methods. Public schools have gained back their lost glory. Learners are happy to go back to public schools. The zeal of old days are being highly rekindled. The programme has really made progress in this sector with the presence of over 100,000 N-teach volunteers.
The Agricultural Sector
This sector determines the strength and the weakness of our micro and macro economy. For long, there has been a serious gap of communication between government policies and agricultural intervention programmes which had led to a highly volatile sector in term of poor productivity and pauperisation of those involved in the agro business. The recent deployment of Npower volunteers as extension agents, all over the nation, to directly conduct assessments of farming activities and to carry on direct sensitisation of farmers at all stages, has brought up the level of production and has also equipped the farmers with better and greater techniques to farming, conservation and sales for greater profitability. The volunteers go miles deep in the farmlands to meet and have first hand assessments of the challenges being faced in the regions and report back to the experts at the tail end of the administration for resolutions. Farmers are now happy and soon with the abundant yield, everybody will be able to afford more sufficient and qualitative food.
The Health Sector
The recent deployment of Npower volunteers as assistants to the health workers has tremendously given a level of relief to the existing workers who almost have no shift period due to lack of staffs. The primary health care centres dispersed in remote areas in rural communities and who only set eyes on health workers once in a week are now full of excitement with volunteers under the Npower programme deployed to their localities to have daily records and health assessments of the host communities. This has reduced avoidable mortalities of patients in rural areas and crowded general hospitals. As a results of this, self medication has drastically reduced due to the presence and services of Npower volunteers available at all times.
Mr President, it is with a heart full of hope that we bring our plight to you. It might mean little or nothing to you, but it means everything to us as unemployed graduates desirous to remain relevant and productive in a system that had hitherto no proper plans for youths and which also neglected their interests for so long.
The N-Power Initiative Scheme has successfully extracted from the limbo of the streets hundreds of thousands of graduate youths who could not find a job after many years of schooling and going through all processes of employability in our dear country. Many of us who lost faith in the system have joined the underworld caucuses while we were groping for possible sustainable jobs.
Your Excellency, the bitter truth is the knowledge of going back to the streets with little or nothing at the expiration of the scheme. The 24 months duration of the programme is coming to an end as a frightening nightmare to us. Are we going back to the streets where we were fetched from after dedicated and creative works at our various places of assignment? What happens to us after the scheme and what shall be our fate?
Our sincere plea to this administration is to open a window for consideration of absorbing us permanently into the civil service, both at the federal and state levels. This can be achieved by putting in place a mechanism that shall consider the conditions and modus operandi of such exercise, taking into consideration our attendance at places of work, our commitment and dedication to work, and the impacts laid in our immediate environment under the volunteering job.
We are not unaware of the many challenges faced by this regime most especially that it is trying to correct the many abnormalities engendered by previous and successive administrations, but we think the permanent engagement of valiant young graduates trained and equipped with adequate skills should also not be undermined in this era where we know youths are the driving forces behind any prosperous nation. 200,000 young graduates, if well channelled and properly catered for can immensely revolutionalize all sectors of the economy. But the reverse might be the case if there is no proper arrangements from the government. Youths build nations, and youths also destroy nations.
You have given us the opportunity to serve our communities and by extension our nation through this scheme, we have made noticeable impacts. We appreciate you and your government for such opportunity. But the sustenability of such impacts can only be achieved if we are permanently engaged. This is a candid and humble invitation to you Sir, to look into the possibility of permanently absorbing us into the civil service for efficient productivity. We can not afford to go back to the streets.
Thanks your Excellency, for the opportunity of the scheme,
Thanks for also listening to our plights,
Thanks for your prompt and favourable actions in that regards.
God bless President Muhammadu Buhari,
God bless Prof. Yemi Osinbajo,
God bless your administration,
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Yours in one Nigeria,
Concerned Nationwide Npower Volunteers from the 36 states of the federation and FCT.
– Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo
– The Nigerian Senate
– The National House of Representatives
– The National Executive Council,
– Nigerian Governors Forum
– Nigerian Traditional Rulers
– National Union of Teachers
– National Labour Congress
– The Federal Ministry of Education
– The Federal Ministry of Health
– The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
– Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity
– Federal Ministry of Special Duties
– Federal Ministry of Youth Development
– Secretary To The Government of the Federation
– Trade Union Congress
– The Press
– Distinguished Stakeholders