N-Power was set up by the President Buhari in June 2016, “to address the issues of youth unemployment and help increase social development”.
It had thousands of Nigerian youths (graduates and none-graduates) between 2016 and 2020.
Speaking during a weekly ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, last week, Keyamo touched on N-Power.
Responding to a question on the Buhari administration’s plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade while shutting the door against recruitment into the service, Keyamo said: “I think your question assumes that the kind of employment we want to create is in civil service. That’s not the idea of employment. All around world, public service employment account for less than one per cent of employment.
“So, it will be very short-sighted of us as a government, very myopic, very, like wrong game approach to think that we want to lift people out of poverty and create employment by opening up gaps in the civil service to employ people.
“How many are we going to employ for the 33% (unemployment rate) that we have now?
“The unemployment figures are indefensible. The 33% was compounded by the COVID scourge. The whole world is reeling from the COVID scourge. So, we need to react more innovatively to create employment.
“For us, we are working very hard to ensure that we skill up Nigerians. The way to approach on employment is to skill up the populace. That’s the way out, to encourage the small, the macro-small and medium scale entrepreneurs, support their businesses, ensure that people are self-employed, skill them up.
“That’s what the N-Power is doing. In N-Power, whether you are a graduate or not, go and learn a skill so that you can be self-employed and feed yourself. Those are employment we are creating, those people who are skilling up.
“We want to skill up Nigerians; we want to empower them, support small businesses, empower Nigerians more so that they can be self employed.
“That I think is the way forward and that’s our own focus as a government to fight unemployment”, Keyamo said.