No fewer than 290,000 applications hit the N-Power job portal on Friday, just three days after the portal was opened, a Presidential aide said on Friday.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, Afolabi Imoukhuede, gave the information during an interactive session with the first batch of the scheme’s beneficiaries in Edo State at the Urhokpota Hall, Benin City.
According to Imoukhuede, 200,000 graduates are already participating in the scheme, while the next batch of 300,000 will be engaged from the new applicants.
He said: “The recruitment portal opened on Wednesday and 290,000 applications have entered as at this morning.
“The next recruitment will be very competitive.
“If we do validation of data and any applicant fails at the point of recruitment, he or she has lost the chance,”
He expressed displeasure with the wave of wrong data fed into the portal by graduate applicants and said such problems were discouraging.
Imoukhuede told the volunteers that while the scheme was making efforts to assist them to validate their entries, it would not do same for the next batch of recruits.
He said: “The Federal Government is spending N6 billion on stipends to current beneficiaries every month and the amount is not a child’s play.
“It is a lifeline to lift you out of unemployment and out of poverty.
“This is a serious business to reduce unemployment and you have to maximize this chance.”
The SSA advised applicants to file their applications by themselves and ensure that the information asked for in the application is correct and verifiable.
He acknowledged the challenges encountered by volunteers in the scheme, which were largely caused by them, and called on the new applicants to ensure that they did not make same mistakes.
Imoukhuede also said that many of the applicants residing in the rural areas stood better chance of being recruited as emphasis would be on residence of the applicants to curb rural-urban migration.
He said: “We do not encourage state re-deployment because the scheme is unlike the National Youth Service Corps.
“Anyone who is not ready to do volunteer job in his state of domicile should not bother to apply.”
The Presidential aide announced that deployment of the non-graduate applicants successful from the screening of applications received in 2016 would be done in batches from July/August 2017.