In 1980s, Nigeria had 8 assembly plants with a combined annual production capacity of 168,500 Automobiles, but in 1990s, the utilization of assembly plants dropped to approximately 10% – 20%. In 2005, the Government privatized its stake in Volkswagen of Nigeria and Peugeot Nigeria Limited. Opening up the Automobile industry in Nigeria to private investors creates room for acceleration and revitalization of the sector. Since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2015, enhancing production capacity of indigenous Automobile and Construction industries have become a priority. By providing an enabling environment for vehicle assembling and manufacturing, companies such as Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company, Nissan Nigeria and BYD motors have been able to expand capacity and provide skills development for Nigerians.
The focus of the present government is to ensure the survival and growth of the Nigerian Automobile and Construction industries using local, human and material resources. This is with a view to reducing importation of vehicles and enhancing the industries’ contribution to the national economy, especially in the areas of transportation of people and goods and solving infrastructural deficits. The government is working with the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) and Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) to achieve this.
Nigeria has the benefit of a young population that can catalyze a productive economy. To tap into this opportunity, in 2016, the Government of Muhammadu Buhari launched the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) to tackle poverty and youth unemployment in the country and also take the youths through appropriate training and skills development. The NSIP programme comprises four components such as N-Power, National Home Grown School Feeding, Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme, and the National Conditional Cash Transfer Programme. N-Power Programme is the job creation component of the NSIP which is providing economic and manpower development through employment creation, skills development and innovation transfer to youths between the ages of 18-35.
In recognition of the importance of a well-trained and highly skilled youth population in the economy and to address the challenges of the once vibrant Automobile and Construction industries in Nigeria, the N-Power Build initiative was conceived. Although it has been operating since March 2018, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo formally launched the N-Power Build sub-component of the N-Power in Enugu on Friday, May 18, 2018 at Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company Limited (ANAMMCO Limited). The N-Power Build is a programme designed to revive the apprenticeship culture in Nigeria through accelerated training and certification programme for unemployed Nigerian youths that are not necessarily graduates. The programme aims to build a crop of highly competent and skilled workforce of technicians, artisans and service professionals in the Nigerian Automobile and Construction Sectors.
The N-Power Build is divided into 7 components which include Automobile; Carpentry and Joinery; Electrical installation; Masonry; Painting and Decoration; Plumbing and Pipefitting, Welding and Fabrication. The programme engages beneficiaries for 12 months. During this duration, beneficiaries are to spend 3 months in accredited and approved Training Centres and 9 months apprenticeship with partnering companies for additional experiential learning leading to final job placement or offering of their services as technicians and contractors. There are 250 training centers across the 6 geo-political zones in the country. ANAMMCO in Enugu and the Multi-Skill Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Obingwa-Aba, Abia State are (2) of these N-Power Build participating training Centres.
These training providers partner with the Federal Government’s N-Power programme to train a total of 20,000 Nigerian Youths under the 2017 Budget appropriation. In the South-East region, 1400 trainees are actively involved in the N-Build Programme. Speaking during the launch, the Vice President stated that “the Federal Government invested N1.4Billion to acquire the required Tool Kit and Training Consumables which have been distributed to participating Training Centres across the country. This is aside an additional N2.4Billion set aside for the payment of N10,000 monthly stipends payable to each trainee for a period of One year, and N3.2 Billion direct investments in these trainees as Training Tuition and other related costs.” In all the 5 South Eastern States, a total of total of 1,416 trainees are currently participating and an additional 1,900 trainees will come on stream before the end of June 2018. This is similar to GEEP where a total of N1.2B loans have been disbursed amongst 24,155 beneficiaries in the South East region.
The N-Power Build, apart from providing accelerated training and certification, the programme is undoubtedly helping to create jobs especially for teaming population of women and youths and indeed helping to lift Nigerians out of poverty and other social problems. Just like other South Eastern States, Enugu State is actively participating in the 4-aspects of the National Social Investment Programme (N-Power, CCT, NHGSF and GEEP). The Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi revealed during the launch of N-Power Build that “6,125 residents of Enugu State have been engaged and receiving their monthly stipends in the Batch A of N-Power Programme. In 2017, a total of 10,976 Volunteers were also pre-selected and verified.” The qualified Volunteers under the 2017 Batch are awaiting their deployment to various places of primary assignment.
The N-Build category have a total of 90 Volunteers posted to selected training institutes in Enugu State such as ANAMMCO and Chibueze Motors Nigeria Limited. Enugu State has also keyed into the initiative by initiating the “Enugu Clean Team” project under which 1000 women and youths between the ages of 18-35 have been engaged. in Enugu State, over 7,060 applicants comprising of 3,784 from SMEs were processed to receive grants from the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
In a report shared by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 70% new cars will be manufactured or assembled in Nigeria by 2050. The introduction of N-Power Build is an intensified effort to resuscitate Nigeria’s potential to become the hub of Africa’s Automotive industry and increasingly develop technicians across the Automobile and Construction sectors. The largely import dependent Automotive industry has become the focus of attention by President Buhari’s government. This is why the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) has been enhanced to provide apprenticeship trainings across the country. The NADDC currently trains 3000 technicians nationwide. The objective is to unlock the capabilities of Nigerian youths and develop highly skilled workforce in the Automobile sector.
The N-Power Build programme is one of the most effective and strategic way of empowering young people with the necessary skills and capabilities to make them self-reliant and meet the humongous demand of service needs. The programme is a decisive effort towards the implementation of the 2013 National Automotive Industry Development Plan with the core objective of reviving the assembling and manufacturing culture of Automobiles in Nigeria. NADDC have trained over 4000 mechanics and donated tools and equipment to them. The NADDC is planning to build 7 more Automobile training Centres; one in each Geo-Political zone and the FCT.
The N-Power Build is one of the numerous people-oriented initiatives the government have designed and implementing to harness the potentials of Nigerian youths. The government through the NSIP is investing in the Nigerian people. The programme serves as a platform for building properly trained and skilled service professionals in Nigeria. N-Power Build gives beneficiaries the technical experience and knowledge that employers are looking for. The scheme is a component that provides and promotes Technical Vocational Education & Training (TVET) for Nigerians. The N-Power Build programme is creating the linkage between acquired skills gained from training with relevant market opportunities. Beyond apprenticeship opportunity, the beneficiaries are prepared for employment and self-establishment. N-Power Build programme is a sustainable effort that would positively revive and support Automobile and Construction sectors both in the long run.