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100Level, Nigeria.
Over the years, it has been observed that many Nigerian graduates after completing National Youth Service, just sit back at home doing nothing due to lack of jobs.
Many apply for jobs, whether white-collar jobs or any kind of job at all, but all without success. All they hear are stories and excuses from the organizations they apply for jobs in without given employment.
This can be very frustrating and annoying and leads to depression. These days, we find a lot youths either committing suicide, indulging in drug abuse or joining criminal gangs all in a bid to survive the hard times because there are no jobs out there. No one is employing graduates.
And the few who are lucky to gain employment aren’t well paid. They only get peanuts as salaries, which is not even enough to take care of their needs, not to talk of that of members of their families who depend on them or look up to them.
It is for this reason that the federal government decided to come up with the N-Power, Trader Moni and other empowerment schemes such as Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP), Skills Acquisition & Entrepreneurship Department (SAED) and International Labour Organization (ILO) all developed to help empower Nigerian graduates who just passed out from NYSC by giving them certain amounts of money, though not much, so they can start up businesses for themselves or use the money to acquire skills to support themselves financially before they are able to secure the white-collar jobs most of them dream of.
The most prominent and popular among these youth empowerment schemes are N-Power and Trader Moni which this article would be looking into. We would look at the good and the bad these schemes have done in the lives of youths, especially ex-corpers.
The N-Power scheme is linked to the Federal Government’s policies in the economic, employment and social development arenas. It is meant to address the challenge of youth unemployment by providing a structure for large scale and relevant work skills acquisition and development while linking its core and outcomes to fixing inadequate public services and stimulating the larger economy.
The modular programmes under N-Power ensure that each participant will learn and practice most of what is necessary to find or create work. The N-Power Volunteer Corp involves a massive deployment of 500,000 trained graduates to assist in improving the inadequacies in our public services in education, health and civic education. Some of these graduates are also meant to help in actualizing Nigeria’s economic and strategic aspirations of achieving food security and self-sufficiency.
Another objective for setting up N-Power is to prepare young Nigerians for a knowledge economy where, equipped with world-class skills and certification, they become innovators and movers in the domestic and global markets. With that, Nigeria will have a pool of software developers, hardware service professionals, animators, graphic artists, building services professionals, artisans and others. N-Power also focuses on providing non-graduates with relevant technical and business skills that enhance their work outlook and livelihood.
As for TraderMoni, it is a loan programme of the Federal Government, created specifically for petty traders and artisans across Nigeria. It is a part of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) scheme of the Federal Government, being executed by the Bank of Industry. With TraderMoni, you can receive interest-free loans starting from N10,000 and growing all the way to N100,000 as you pay back.
You get N10,000 as the first loan. When you pay back the first loan, you immediately qualify for a second loan of N15,000. After payback of the second loan, you qualify for a N20,000 loan, and then N50,000, and then N100,000. The Federal Government’s objective is to change people’s levels by providing continuous loans for petty businesses, making each loan bigger to enable youths grow.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) is also a federal government empowerment scheme that was launched on 15th March, 2016 to enhance the deployment of the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Nigerian youths for maximum economic development. This was in recognition of the fact that there was no better segment of the Nigerian population than the youths to propel us to our much-needed economic recovery and diversification.
In the third quarter of 2015, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that of the 36.3 million youths representing 48% of the nation’s labour force, 13.6 million or 37.7% of them were either unemployed or underemployed. This situation could not be allowed to fester given that many of our youths had very bright ideas and big dreams but are constrained by scarce seed funding.
The YEDP aims to fix the triple-barreled constraints of insufficiency, high cost and inadequate term of capital usually faced by youth entrepreneurs and startups. It offers credit of up to N3 million to eligible youth or N10 million for groups of 3 – 5 youths, Interest rate is 9% per annum. Tenor broadly depends on project complexity and cash flow but is between 1 year for working capital loan and 3 years for term loan. The collateral requirements are quite simple: academic and NYSC certificates, third party guarantees and other movable assets.
Target beneficiaries are members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), non-NYSC (but not more than five years post-NYSC), those who possess a verifiable tertiary institution certificate, and artisans with First School Leaving Certificate or a technical certificate or accredited proficiency certificate from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), whichever is applicable. Beneficiaries can be encouraged to migrate to other CBN interventions to obtain more funding if they utilize the YEDP facility properly.
All these schemes put in place by the federal government for graduates have helped save them from the pain of unemployment and just sitting back home after youth service without doing anything. It has helped a lot of graduates develop themselves by acquiring skills which they have used to set up businesses for themselves.
Some of them even acquired skills right from NYSC camp during the SAED programme and they put those skills into good use after service and today their businesses have expanded and their making waves and making money.
On the other hand, for those participating in the N-Power scheme and earning the monthly #30.000 salary, it has made them lazy as some of them have become too comfortable with the salary they’re getting, despite the fact that the money isn’t much and they aren’t even moved or eager to find better jobs. Some of them have even gotten married and are raising children with just that monthly 30,000 naira.
There are those of them who are so lazy that they don’t have any other jobs they’re doing and they still aren’t doing the N-Power jobs, they’re just sitting at home collecting the monthly pay. Well, some people would say such people don’t have problems or don’t have much needs and are just comfortable not doing anything as long as they are able to feed themselves with the #30,000.
This is not applicable to all the N-Power beneficiaries though, as some of them aren’t actually comfortable with the pay because it isn’t meeting all their needs. As a result, they decide not to depend on what their getting from the scheme but are rather trying and making efforts to find better jobs.
So as much as these federal government empowerment schemes are helping many graduates make the best out of their lives, they’re also making others lazy and unwilling to work because of the free money they’re getting.

The Good And Bad Of N-power, Trader Moni On Nysc Graduates - NYSC Members

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