We write this letter in response to your reactions to our stance on permanency.
Let us begin by appreciating you for recognising the impacts of our work through the scheme, and for gratifying our gestures of gratitude so far. We are pleased to learn that our efforts have not gone unnoticed.
We can’t help it, but we are obliged to respond to some issues you raised.
For a start, we wish to clarify that our advocacy for better employment status is not and will never be directed to you, Mr Afolabi, as a person. We are aware of the fact that the jurisdiction of your office can not secure us such opportunities, but, like other stakeholders in the scheme, your office is merely referenced only for administrative protocols.
As the SSA to the President on jobs creation and the grand handler of Npower Initiative Scheme, it is only a procedural necessity for us to make reference to your office.
For any avoidance of doubt, you should have noted that your office is not the only office being referenced in all our communiqués, only for the few instances where we directly reacted to some of your live Facebook chats.
Sir, for clarity, you are not the target of our advocacy, and you and your team would do us a great service if you could desist from talking on issues that are far above your power to handle.
We are aware like every right thinking nigerian that Npower can not give us permanency, neither can Mr Afolabi, but the authority that also employed you all.
As far as we are concerned, Sir, you can not define our fate, but the Presidency, and most especially President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
Moreso, we would like to make use of this medium to clarify some issues pertaining to our advocacy.
As enlightened and law abiding Nigerian youths, we are not disputing the two years life spam of the scheme as well spelt in its terms and conditions, neither are we trying to be ungrateful to the initiators of this laudable scheme. We are ever appreciative, and we have severally shown our gratitude through various means.
Our cries for permanency is a peaceful and legal move which is being misrepresented and vehemently opposed by some forces within the corridors of power. Hence, the need for us to clarify issues.
This regime has promised empowerment and employment to Nigerian youths, which according to some quarters are being fulfilled through the Npower Initiative Scheme. They also claim the scheme has equipped us with the required employability skills susceptible of securing us our desired jobs. They equally boast of the achievements of some very few percentage of some N-agro crops among us who have been able to venture into some agricultural life changing projects.
But in real fact, they are pretending to ignore that the opportunities available to the N-agro volunteers among us can not be commensurate to those of us in N-teach and N-health.
We are not trying to be segregationist but the N-teach volunteers, who constitute the largest percentage (75%) of the whole scheme, are required to report to their assigned Places of Primary Assignment all working days of the week. And the same thing is applicable to our colleagues in the health sector.
We are not undermining the work of our colleagues in the Agro sector, but the conditions of their own field afford them with an avalanche of opportunities to learn, work and invest because their field is designed in a way to accommodate that. But the truth is that majority of those in N-Teach crop are not learning any new employability skill: it has been their field before the advent of the scheme.
Even if we assume that the scheme has impacted us with some teaching and medical skills, what do we do with those skills after the scheme? Do we go by establishing schools or hospitals with the tokens paid to us?
You keep emphasising that there is no vacancy for us and that the federal government can not absorb us but Federal Government parastatals and agencies such as immigration, custom, police, fire brigade, air force, NNPC, CBN, NCC etc keep recruiting on quota and privilege bases. Are those ministries only reserved for well-to-do-people? Why can’t the Npower beneficiaries who have been trained and equipped with skills be considered for job openings in those ministries?
Our advocacy for jobs is birthed from the long endured pains and yearnings of the common and frustrated Nigerian youths.
Permanency is what we want, any other discussion is distraction.