Barely 72 hours after the Federal Government reopened the application portal of its job creation and empowerment initiative under the Social Investment Programme known as N-Power scheme, a total of 240,393 unemployed Nigerians have so far applied for the scheme.
According to information made available on the application portal of the scheme, there has been an unprecedented traffic of unemployed youth visiting the site since Tuesday June 13, 2017, when the site was reopened. This figure was as of 9am on Friday.
N-Power is an initiative designed to help young Nigerians acquire and develop lifelong skills to become solution providers in their communities and to become players in the domestic and global markets.
A breakdown of the pattern of application on the site shows that teaching profession has the highest number of applications with 155,819 applicants. Those who want to work as agriculture extension advisers were 40,204, while health extension advisers’ applicants were 25,670. Only 18,700 applied as community tax liaison officers.
Under the scheme, the federal government is employing 300,000 unemployed Nigerian youths as teachers, agriculture extension advisers, health extension workers and community tax liaison officers.
The scheme has already engaged 200,000 Nigerians as volunteers. The application portal is expected to close on July 13, 2017.
According to an online platform, Trading Economics, unemployment rate in Nigeria increased to 14.2 percent in the last quarter of 2016 from 10.4 percent a year earlier.
The site says it is the highest joblessness rate since 2009, as the number of unemployed went up by 3.5 million to 11.549 million while employment rose at a slower 680.8 thousand to 69.6 million.
“The labour force increased by 4.194 million to 81.151 million and those detached from it declined by 625.7 thousand to 27.439 million,” it said.
The unemployment rate was higher for persons between 15-24 years old (25.2 percent), women (16.3 percent) and in rural areas (25.8 percent). In the previous quarter, the jobless rate was 13.9 percent.
Unemployment rate averaged 9.76 percent from 2006 until 2016, reaching an all-time high of 19.70 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 and a record low of 5.10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.