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FG plans to expand N-Power programme to 1m persons

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By Joan Nwagwu

The Federal Government says it will expand the N-Power programme from the present 500,000 beneficiaries to one million.

President Muhammadu Buhari said this in a message to commemorate the 2021 Workers’ Day celebration on Saturday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2021 Workers’ Day theme is ”COVID-19, Social and Economic Crises: Challenges for Decent Work, Social Protection and Peoples Welfare”.

Buhari said that the expansion of the N-Power programme would ensure job creation and poverty alleviation through programme such as Safety Net Programmes to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

”We also have put in place some socio-economic policies, which also include Conditional Cash Transfer for the vulnerable poor from 2.6 million households (13 million persons) to 7.6 million households (about 32 million persons).

”COVID-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR) for urban Poor, which now has 4.8 million households (20 million persons) which also include urban poor/working class.

”Also, through the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, there is the Entrepreneur Support Programme and, this even includes the vulnerable workers amongst the urban poor.

”We also have the Artisan Support Fund, Payroll Support Fund for small scale businesses, Business Formalisation aimed at encouraging micro, small and medium enterprises by offering free registration for upcoming businesses by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

”There is also Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus Scheme for Small Medium Enterprises for producers of hygienic products and packaged food to encourage entrepreneurship and industries, “he said.

He, however, added that the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) for young entrepreneurs had N75 billion for three years, all aimed at support for the labour force.

He also noted that in securing decent jobs, government was inadvertently promoting social protection and people’s welfare.

”We also know that social protection gives you peace of mind and hope for a better future.

“It also ensures access to health care and income security for all and provides for you and your family when sick, unemployed, injured, pregnant or too old to work,” he said.

He noted that a happy workforce could be created by employers incorporating the decent work agenda in job creation and retention in their workplace guiding policies.

”As we all know, decent work sums up the aspirations of people in their working lives.

”It involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration.

”It also ensure freedom for people to express their concerns, organise and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men,” he said.

He noted that decent jobs in our workplaces in a nutshell, therefore, reflect all the goodness in labour administration.

Buhari, therefore, said fair labour practices must be the norm in the world of work.

”So, the theme for the May Day celebration is relevant and also reflects practical and contemporary issues of our society and not just in Nigeria but globally,” he said.

(NAN)

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