Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The Federal Government will employ additional 350,000 unemployed graduates in 2017.
The graduates will be employed under the N-Power Volunteer Corps, a component of the government’s Social Investment Programmes.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
Akande said President Muhammadu Buhari has requested appropriation of N157.75bn in the 2017 budget estimates for the N-Power scheme.
“350,000 unemployed graduates more would be hired and trained, alongside 50,000 non-graduates youths to be engaged as artisans and in other creative ventures,” Akande said.
He explained further that under the N157.75bn also, a sum of N4.5bn has been earmarked for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics programme to support young Nigerians in building skills in those disciplines.
Akande noted that the SIP budget proposals for 2017 are currently being discussed this week at the National Assembly and urged Nigerians to expect more this year especially in the area of implementation as virtually all of the SIPs are now undergoing different stages of implementation.
“While we were able to engage 200,000 unemployed graduates last year, we will do 350,000 more this year,” he said.
He added that some of the teething problems are giving way to lessons that would smoothen implementation under the 2017 budget.
He also disclosed that about N75bn has been allocated for the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme in the 2017 Budget.
He added that N112.2bn has been allocated to the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme aimed at providing interest-free loans to up to 1.2million market men and women, traders, artisans, youths and farmers.