Empowerment Program are programs set aside to provide education, employment assistance, health, housing referrals, and support services for women and men who are in disadvantaged positions due to incarceration, poverty, homelessness, HIV/AIDS infection, and/or involvement in the criminal justice system.There are several programs that have been put in place by the Nigerian Government to empower citizens of the country.
These programs help combat the current high level of unemployment and poverty in the country through appropriate skill development and provision of opportunities that increase productivity within the country.
Benefits of Youth Empowerment programmes
Youth empowerment can help reduce the rate of poverty to a significant level. One of the keys to empowering the youth is with skill development. When a youth is empowered, he understands the importance of education and helps uplift the sector, integral for a developing nation such as Nigeria.
The benefits of youth empowerment are:
1. It allows children and young people to explore, discover and develop their skills and strengths
2. It makes youth responsible and self-reliant
3. It makes youth more aware of themselves and the world
4. It gives a sense of direction helping youth from getting lost or falling into the dark trap of crime.
5. It instils a sense of confidence and makes youth resourceful and reliable
It is typical to ask children what they want to become when they grow up. So, when I threw open this question to a bunch of children, this is what they had to say:
The answers you get ranges from Doctors,Lawyers,Engineers,Scientist,Pharmacist,Nurses etc……
You see, you just have to give children the opportunity to express, and they will overwhelm you with their responses. Probe a little more by asking ‘Why?’ and they will surprise you by telling the precise reason behind their aspiration. And, I bet it is the same with every child.
It is not enough to just know about their aspirations. As adults, we need to give an environment, an opportunity where children can live their childhood, explore their interests, learn and experiment, and hone their skills to achieve their goals. In one word, we have to ‘empower’ them. By definition, empower means to make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
Here, I would like to use the term ‘youth empowerment’. It is a process by which children and young people are supported and encouraged to take charge of their lives by making informed decisions for the benefit of the self and the society. Youth empowerment involves:
Empowerment Programmes in Nigeria
Below are the Top list of Empowerment programmes in Nigeria
Youth empowerment programmes have helped Nigerians alot. One of them is the popular Npower programme by President Buhari. The N-Power is focused on large-scale skill development. It is linked to the Federal Government’s policies in the economic, employment and social development arenas.
The program specifically addresses 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 will 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 who will assist to improve the inadequacies in our public services in education, health and civic education.
Some of these graduates will also help in actualising Nigeria’s economic and strategic aspirations of achieving food security and self-sufficiency.
N-Power was created as a platform for diversifying the economy and it prepares 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.
The programs will help to create a pool of software developers, hardware service professionals, animators, graphic artists, building services professionals, artisans and others.
Also, N-Power focuses on providing our non-graduates with relevant technical and business skills that enhance their work outlook and livelihood.
N-Power is open to Nigerian citizens between the ages of 18 and 35. However, you will need to meet the minimum requirements (if any) for your respective programme.
Overall, selection into the program is based on your expression of a genuine interest in whichever area you decide; passing the relevant tests; your willingness to push yourself beyond your comfort zone; and your ability to show a flair to develop all the skills you need to be the best you can be.
Also N-Power is suitable for graduates which refer to any post-tertiary qualification including an Ordinary National Diploma (OND) or Nigerian Certificate in Education (NCE) or as may be specified by the programme.
In the last few years, over 6.8 million Nigerians have benefited from the N-power programme.
Young Entrepreneurs of Nigeria (YEN)
YEN is another prominent empowerment programme in the country. The programme involves business training, capacity building and facilitating the Youth Empowerment Summit (YES) which takes place annually. The aim of the summit is to bring together Nigerian young entrepreneurs at all stages of business development, investors and public officials to discuss challenges and solutions to youth entrepreneurship and empowerment.
Every year, YEN empowers over 8000 youth every year. Also, during the annual summit, YES, 500 youth will receive business funding/business tools through YEN and other ‘YES’ partners.
Additionally, another 500 receive free business websites and 1,000 youth are mentored while 6,000 youth receive special business training/ capacity building to support their start-ups and boost their businesses.
Usually, it holds in the six geo-political zones in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Yola, Kaduna, Enugu and Abuja with over 20,000 delegates, 1,000 exhibitors, and 60 speakers.
Established by the Goodluck Jonathan government, YouWiN is a multimedia enterprise education initiative of the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF) which supports young entrepreneurs as they plan, start and grow their businesses.
YouWiN! Connect seeks to promote entrepreneurship as a viable career option for young Nigerians which in turn will create jobs and wealth.
The program was set up as a platform to build the capacity of 55,500 budding young entrepreneurs every year.
The platform also nurtures ideas and innovation from young entrepreneurial participants from Universities, Polytechnics, Technical colleges, and other post-Secondary institutions in Nigeria.
Generally, YouWin! is aimed at the Agriculture/Agro-processing, Construction, ICT, Fashion, Manufacturing and Retail sectors. And the initiative also encourages expansion, specialization and spin-offs of existing businesses in Nigeria while enabling young entrepreneurs to access a wide business professional network.
Additionally, YouWin! offers classes in:
This class is targeted at building entrepreneurial capacity (online and in-class training) through exposure to relevant SME development materials and tools such as technical, legal and financial skills in business management.
Information Communication Technology
The ICT classes introduce participants to common terminologies used in the start-up ecosystem, and the requirements to commercialize innovations, including protecting intellectual property, describing an innovation and the benefits it provides (vs. features), navigating the development process and market/product validation.
Other classes cover sectors like Agriculture & AgroProcessing, Fashion, Manufacturing & Retail, Construction and Enterprise Education
The Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program also known as ‘SURE-P was formed in 2012 as a scheme established by the Federal Government of Nigeria to re-invest the Federal Government savings from fuel subsidy removal on critical infrastructure projects and social safety net programmes with direct impact on the citizens of Nigeria.
Youth Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture (YISA)
YISA is an agro-knowledge based organization for young graduates of Agricultural discipline and other young people with genuine interest and passion for Agriculture.
The program is an excellent platform for redirecting young people towards Agriculture and creating a pool of active players for sustainable Agriculture in Nigeria.
Also, YISA plays active role across different agro-value chain and serves as a sustainable supply hub for agro-produce through youth farmers Out-Growers Scheme and as well a destination point for corporate and impact investors.
Additionally, YISA reaches out to rural dwellers through her YISA Rural Farm School Project where the lack of skills and start-up capital among rural youths and women are being addressed.
Generally, you can become a part of the YISA program if you’re a young Agricultural graduate (Aged 18-38), young farmer or young person interested in agriculture and rural development
The Youth Entrepreneurship Support (YES) Programme is one of the initiatives of the Bank Of Industry which is aimed at addressing the worrisome phenomenon of youth unemployment in Nigeria by building the capacity of the youths and funding their business ideas.
The programme equips young people with the requisite skills and knowledge to be self-employed by starting and managing their own businesses.
Usually, participants are drawn from young aspiring entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years and these individuals must have innovative ideas and a minimum educational qualification of an Ordinary National Diploma (OND).
Everyone can clearly understand that the beneficial outcomes of youth empowerment programs are improved social skills, improved behavior, increased academic achievement, increased self-esteem and increased self-efficacy. It is significant that children,youths,adults get the advantages of youth empowerment. It will not only develop them but also benefit the society as a whole. It becomes our responsibility to empower children so that they can achieve what they have dreamt of.