N-Power: Beneficiaries laud FG, give testimonial of achievements

As part of efforts to curb unemployment and poverty in Nigeria, in 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari created the N-Power programme, under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), where beneficiaries are paid N30,000 every month for two years and overseen by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. PAUL OKAH interviewed beneficiaries of the scheme in different states of Nigeria, who praised the federal government and gave testimonials of their achievements under the scheme.

N-Power enabled me to get married My name is Adamu Ahmad from Fufoore local government area of Adamawa State. I am a Batch B N-power beneficiary under N-Agro. I am a resident here in Yola South Local Government. I have benefited a lot from the N-power program and I remain grateful to the Federal Government for creating the program. About 500,000 youths like myself have benefited greatly from it. Part of the benefits of the N-power is this shop that I am standing in. It belongs to me. The N-power program also supported me in getting married and now I am a proud father. I am a graduate of Adamawa State University Mubi. I have benefited a lot from the Federal Government. I am grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari, the vice president, Yemi Osibanjo and the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq. I am also grateful to them for sending out this team to monitor our achievements and also find out how we have benefited from this program. I am advising all N-power beneficiaries, especially the incoming Batch C, who have just completed their registration, whoever amongst them opportune to be shortlisted should endeavour to make good use of the opportunity. Save from the stipend so that you can make a great benefit out of the two years or one year experience. I want them to benefit just as much as I have benefited. I have been trained in the area of agriculture, animal care and poultry. I am capable of running an animal farm aside my current business. Adamu Ahmed, Adamawa State

N-Power made me a landlordMy name is Hassan Mustapha Hammed, an N-Power beneficiary under N-Health in Bauchi state. N-power is a programme created by the federal government to assist the youths and we are very grateful for that. I was able to achieve a lot from the stipends I was getting from the N-power programme. After we were selected, we were trainted on several aspects of health, because health sector is a very sensitive aspect. We trained on injury treatment, surgery, injections and other aspects. Before now, I only had a theoretical knowledge of health service provision, but with the help of the doctors, I was able to gain practical knowledge. Now, with the experience I have gathered, I was able to give my own quota to the hospital where I served. Before now, I was a farmer and I also channeled some of the savings from my stipends to improving the farm production, so that I can give back to my community. Before now, if you see me, you will laugh, because I had nothing to do back then. But now, if you see me, you will respect me, because N-power has empowered me. I am now giving back to my community. Presently, I can boast of a stable job under health service provision, an animal farm, which I was able to achieve from the stipends. As a result of N-Power, I now have my own house in Bauchi. I got married and we are blessed with three lovely children. All I have to say now is may God bless the federal republic of Nigeria. May God reward President Muhammadu Buhari and the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, who stood firm to see that this program is a success. Hassan Mustapha Hammed, Bauchi State

I’m now a businessman because of N-PowerMy name is Comrade Imrana Adamu. I am the Gombe State N-power ambassador and an N-power beneficiary; under N-Teach. I am one of the Batch A beneficiaries; since the inception of the programe in 2016 to the disengagement period in June, 2020. I first heard about this program from the inaugural speech of President Muhammadu Buhari on his inauguration day, when he told the nation that he was going to make sure Nigerian youths will be given something to do; in order to eradicate unemployment. So, the first thing he came up with was the issue of N-Power, in which every youth is given an opportunity to apply. I am one of the graduates, who applied and was a successful applicant. Before I started the program, I was financially unstable, but with the help of N-power, I was able to earn 30,000 naira monthly. It is the reason I became productive, because, with the stipends I have been getting, I am not just spending the money, I have been saving part of the money. At the initial stage, I was saving 15,000 naira monthly. At the end of 2 years, I was able to save 480,000 naira, which I used to establish a business of my own. I established a medicine store, because it happened to be my father’s business and I learnt a lot about it. When I was younger, I used to follow him to the market, so when I saved money from my stipends, I was able make sure I established a business of my own. The medicine store is now 13 months old. If the federal government is able to give us the exit package as promised, I will still channel it towards productivity. I will add it to my business and improve my life. Imrana Adamu, Gombe State

I’m now a contractor, thanks to N-PowerMy name is Jamila Ooye, an N-power beneficiary under N-agro Batch B. I want to thank our leaders for creating this program. Under God’s will, we were able to benefit from the program. May God reward them. We are praying to God to continue assisting them. Before now, I had nothing doing. I completed my education and was idle. However, I got this N-power job laterwards. It’s through it that I established a business. I started selling children clothes and wrappers. I started going from one ministry to another; selling my products. To an extent, I started getting contracts to supply wrappers for wedding or naming ceremonies. I will usually supply the goods and when money is available, I get paid and now I have something tangible to support myself with. I am also pleading with our leaders to assist us more. I am grateful to the government for this great assistance. We are useful to ourselves and others around us. Jamila Ooye, Taraba State

N-Power made me a proud farmerMy name is John Moses, an N-power beneficiary under N-agro. So far, I have been able to benefit from the National Social Investment Program. I started the program since 2016 and  thought of what to do with the 30,000 naira monthly stipend, that is when I had the idea of starting an irrigation farming to enable me help my community and myself. So far, so good, I have been able to gain a lot from the farm. I have generated a lot of money. As you can see, my onions are ready for harvest. I have some vegetables, watermelon and my customers will come to purchase them later. I am really benefiting from this, because every evening, I have customers who come here to buy my produce in order to resell. I will like to encourage the youths to go into irrigation, because it is a very important aspect that can change their lives. With something like this, one can be able to achieve some of his/her goals. I have used the stipends from N-Power to further my education and my workers are also benefiting from me as well. As you can see, we help the community and ourselves. I never thought I would be able to create something like this, but through the N-power stipends of 30,000 naira I was able to achieve this and become what I am today. This land is my property. I am now employing others who had nothing to rely on. I thank the Federal Government for the privilege given to me and those who are eager to join the N-power program. I advise them to invest in irrigation farming, because it has a lot of benefits. John Moses, Borno State

I used N-Power stipends to establish a barbershopMy name is Madina Musa. I am an N-power beneficiary from Adamawa state. Mino Barbers Shop is my shop. Before N-power enrolment, I was selling perfumes. I used to go from office to office and it wasn’t easy because people used to collect on credit. So, when I saw N-power advert online and I applied, I was selected, trained and empowered.  From there, I thought of starting a business and the idea of a barbing saloon came to me. Why I chose barbing is because most of my customers, when I was selling perfumes, were male, so it was easier for me to introduce the barbing saloon to them. I have been in the business for 3 years now and it is still moving.Madina Musa, Adamawa State

I’m now a rice farmer, thanks to N-PowerMy name is Leah Micah, from Taraba state. I was in N-power Batch A, N-agro. My Primary Place of Assignment was Cona, here in Jalingo. I got into N-agro and then we were trained in TEADP in Jalingo on how to do farming production, cattle rearing and other farming processes. We were also taught how to do business; in terms of selling our produce. With this experience, I decided to join rice production. I am into dry season rice production as a friend encouraged me not to stay idle. In TEADP, they trained us on how to process the rice. We have so many things that we have been trained on, but I chose dry season rice production. I have interest in production because, back in school, I did a project on rice production. So, I have interest in doing it; in order to get something that I will be doing during and after the N-power program. Also, with the training I got from rice processing, I used to tell other people that are into rice production that we were taught how to process rice, using top-bottom. I share the knowledge with others in the field to enable them have the best production. I joined monthly contribution of 15,000 naira from my N-power stipends, which enabled me to start my rice production. This has helped me a lot. I started with one hectare of land, but because I am with someone who has been in the field for a very long time, he mentored me and now I can farm up to 3 hectares, depending on the stages of rice production. I also employ workers. I have someone living on the farm as a supervisor. When it’s time for harvest, I also employ workers. I feel happy because people have a source of living through me. People from Lagos come to buy our rice and also I have customers from Kogi state. What I have to say to the Honourable Minister is on our exit package. For someone like me, I really want to expand my farming business. If we can get the package, it will really help us a lot. My advice to the incoming Batch C is not to lavish their stipends. They can also engage in monthly contributions to enable them start something meaningful. We thank the present administration because they have really helped the youths a lot. They have helped us by involving us in this N-power program. It has made us have something to be doing, especially those that had no source of income. Because of N-power, we have all gotten something to do business with, there some of us who did not do anything meaningful with their money. Micah Leah, Taraba State 

I’ve employed many because of N-PowerMy name is Mohammed Lawal Samanja, I am from Damaturu local government of Yobe state, I was able to set up this place when I had nothing, and it is all because of N-power, I heard about the program through a friend, when he told me about it I applied, I never thought I could get it because of what is happening in the country, you have to know someone before you can get a job, so I actually applied, and after applying I didn’t even know that I got it until my friend called me from kaduna state while I was in Damaturu he asked me whether I have checked my status and I replied yes I not checked, so he asked me to check and when I checked I saw my name, it displayed congratulations and I was surprised so from there I was posted to my primary place of assignment and I already have a plan that whatever I was going to get out of the program I was going to utilize it in a very good way that even after the N-power I will have something doing, because it appears the N-power may not be a permanent employment, so I decided to set aside some of  the stipends that I was getting from the program, and after some time I got a little grant from my savings and I decided to set up this cyber café, and thank God from this I have been able to feed myself, and even employ some staff which some of them are students, some of them will go to school and return here to continue work, so honestly this N-power program have been very impactful and if not for N-power there are many Nigerian youths who would have never been able to get a job. For N-power you don’t need anyone to follow it up for you, all you have to do is to apply as a Nigerian citizen and if you are lucky you could get it, I got it without knowing anybody. Mohammed Lawal, Yobe State 

N-Power made me an entrepreneurMy name is Muhammed Muhammed Chiroma, N-agro beneficiary from Yobe State. Honestly, before N-Power came onboard, life was very difficult. After I got the N-power job in December 2016, the following year was a precious one in my life. This program is one of the best legacies of President Muhammadu Buhari, because it is directly impacting the lives of thousands of Nigerians, especially the youths. We started receiving our stipends in January 2017. It was supposed to be December 2016, but due to some delays or technical issues, Yobe state beneficiaries started receiving their stipends on 27th January, 2017. So, from there, life started changing for us. As I became one of the 200,000 beneficiaries in the first batch, it is something that I am very proud of and this is absolutely commendable. So, after the period of 6 months into the program, we started a monthly contribution of 20,000 naira. We are about 10 persons making the contribution, so each of us will easily get 200,000 naira. N-power program changes lives of thousands of youths in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast because, due to insurgency, the economy of the area has seriously been affected. So, by having the opportunity to be part of the N-power program, I know a lot of youths who have managed to better their life with the stipends from N-power. Some went to school, some invested a little more and after the program ended they are still surviving. For example, this mini shop you see here, which I am standing in, has a lot of things in it. We have perfumes, toothpaste, shoes and many other items. This is a result of the N-power program. Honestly, the NSIP is part of the legacy of President Muhammadu Buhari and we believe if this program continues, it will reduce the level of unemployment drastically. Thousands of people have benefited including the people working under the beneficiaries, so it is commendable. Secondly, we cannot limit ourselves to petty trading. During the rainy season, we used to farm at the outskirt of the town. We used to farm millet, beans, and groundnut. I had a good harvest last year farming season. Aside the farming, I also engage in animal farming. I buy one to two cows to fatten them for sale during festive periods like Eid-el-kabir. I sell rams and cows. I am only able to achieve all this through N-power, so I am sure with the continuation of this kind of program, many people will celebrate this government’s administration. I am commending the people that initiated this program and I am pleading with them to make sure there is a solution to the young 500,000 youths, who have been disengaged from the program. There are some of them who have the skills and idea, but have no capital to start up. This government has done a lot on youth empowerment. I must commend the effort, commitment and hard work of Honourable Sadiya Umar Farouq. Being the first Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management And Social Development, she faces a lot of challenges, but remains calm and resolute to overcome a lot of things. I honestly commend her for her hard work, considering all challenges in the N-power program, like the NEXIT issue. We know things are not going to be so easy especially with this pandemic. I have confidence that she will deliver the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari. Honestly, she is doing well. She just need more technical support from other ministries and agencies, for a successful delivery of the program. Muhammed Muhammed Chiroma, Yobe State

N-Power lifted me up from povertyMy name is Oluwafisayo Andrew. I am a batch A N-power beneficiary under N-agro here in Bauchi State. I am proud to be a fashion designer and this is my shop. I came across N-power when I went for my NYSC in Adamawa in 2015/2016. During my NYSC, I was listening to radio and I heard about N-power. I applied, with no stress. By November, I was shortlisted and I got the N-power job. Government trained us on how to go about entrepreneurship. As of 2018, I have cattles which I rear. I later ventured into fashion designing. I have a registered company. I travel to get my textile. I sell, I sow and opened a shop with the help of N-Power. I didn’t have any problem with my payment. Everything was okay. I thank God that today I can boast of what my family and I will eat. Everyone is okay. I have one person that works with me. I have tailors that work for me, because I cannot do it alone. Oluwafisayo Andrew, Bauchi State

N-Power taught me financial independenceMy name is Ogar E. Julius, a beneficiary of N-power Batch B. I am privileged to be N-power beneficiary. I saw the advert online and decided to register for it and eventually I became a successful candidate. So far, aside from the financial aspect, I have never been paid since I started the program, which is as a result of BVN error on my account. The error is the fault of the person that typed my information. The error was later rectified and still there was no payment that was made. That was the financial aspect. Coming to the orientation aspect, which was the first we had after being enrolled into the program, I have learnt a lot on how to deal with customers in the site. I learnt how to make my product sell in the market and how to attract more customers. Faithfulness and punctuality are some of the keys. We also went into the training here in Taraba state polytechnic, Jalingo campus, under the electrical department, which is being headed by the HOD electrical department. I was taught both theoretical and practical aspects. Most of our practicals were done in the school premises, except for site work, where we have to visit the site. We were taken to the field and we learnt a lot. With that, I can tell you that I am a proud owner of an electrical shop. I also own a company although not registered yet with my name. I will soon be a CEO when I officially register the company. Ogar Julius, Taraba State

I’m now an established vetMy name is Salimu Muhammed Awwal, an N-power beneficiary under N-agro Batch A 2016. Immediately, I joined N-power I was trained on agriculture before being deployed. From that moment, I started thinking of what to do since the government advised us that we should get something doing to become self dependent. 5 to 10 of us under the N-power program started a monthly contribution of 20,000 naira. Some of us could only contribute 10,000 naira. That was how I raised money to start my own business. I established my business in the field of veterinary medicine. I own a shop now and I benefited so much form this business, so I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for this initiative. I advise other beneficiaries to focus on their self employment when they get the opportunity to come into the program. Salimu Muhammed Awwal, Taraba State

N-Power made an entrepreneur
My name is Salihu Abdulkadir. I am part of the Batch B N-power beneficiary 2017 under N-agro from Dukko Local government.  I heard of N-power online. At the initial stage, I did not intend to apply because I was thinking I may not be selected. One of my friends advised that we should just go and apply and we did. Surprisingly, I was invited for the interview, which I took online and it was successful and I got the N-power job. I went to my primary place of assignment and started reporting. My first stipend came in and at first I spent the entire 30,000 naira. Afterwards, I sat down myself and thought about it. I reasoned that, if I continued spending the entire stipend, at the end of the program, I will end up with nothing. I had a plan of starting a farm business, since our parents were famers. I started my maize farming business with that 30,000 naira stipend. I started with one hectare of farmland. At first, I experienced a lot of challenges, due to lack of fertilizer and other problems that came up that are above my stipends. I reduced the of my farm to half of the hectare and then I got a lot of success and a lot of bags of grains, which helped employ other people. I later expanded my farm business as time went on, which I also did last year rainy season. I am very happy with everything. If the federal government eventually give us the exit plan, I will definitely expand my farmland. Now, I have 5 to 6 people working for me in the farm business. I sell my products in Tudun Hatsi market here in Gombe. They take our products from there to places like Ghana, Lagos and southern part of Nigeria. They come to buy from us and then transport it down to those towns. I also have a friend whose name is Ibrahim from Jigawa State, who came to Gombe state as an Almajiri. I encouraged him to go to school. After his primary school I encouraged to enter into the secondary school. At that time, he was older and people were laughing at him. After his secondary school, he enrolled in a school here, which is a distance learning of university of Maiduguri, where he eventually did his diploma and then he came and applied for N-power Batch B stream 2. Luckily, he got enrolled and now as I speak he has a provision store in this area. He got married and built a house and he is doing well. I want to extend my appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari and the vice president Yemi Osibanjo for making this program possible and the entire administration for putting this together. They are doing a lot in keeping their promises. I also thank the Minister of Humanitarian affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq. Salihu Abdulkadir, Gombe State

N-Power has helped me a lotMy name is Sallau Maina Gadama from Taraba state. I am a beneficiary of N-power Batch A under N-agro. I applied for N-power without knowing anybody and I was selected. N-power helped me a lot. My place of primary assignment was in Kpashin here in Jalingo. I had my training in Taraba Agricultural Development Program (TADP). After that, I also had a 2 week session with the Taraba State Ministry of Agriculture and I learnt a lot from them. As I speak to you now, I am a cattle rarer. I sell my cows after three or two months of raring for about 150,000 to 200,000 naira. I was able to achieve this through N-power. As I speak to you, I have built my own house and also impacting knowledge on others; due to this N-power program. Before I started animal raring, 10 of us under the N-power program started a monthly contribution of 20,000 naira each. I deprived myself of some things so that I could achieve this. I was able to venture into animal raring due my training under the N-agro. N-power has helped me a lot. I am expressing my appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq. My advice to others intending to apply is to apply. This is not a godfather thing. They can apply without knowing anyone. Also, to the incoming Batch C, try and make contributions. It is very important. If they can organize themselves in 10s and contribute at least 15,000 naira monthly, it will help them a lot.Sallau Maina Gadama, Taraba State

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