The President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has unveiled an exit plan for NPower beneficiaries who have concluded the 2-year programme. The plan will enable 200,000 beneficiaries to be engaged as financial services operators under a Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) scheme operated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
According to Nexit strategy document, at least 200,000 former N-Power beneficiaries will be onboarded on a scheme known as the Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility (SANEF) while at least 30, 000 others would be deployed for the Mass Agric programme, a component of the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), and another number will be given opportunities to improve or start new businesses under a micro-enterprise initiative. The SANEF scheme is a project powered by the Central Bank of Nigeria, Deposit Money Banks, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems, Chattered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Licensed Mobile Money Operators, and Shared Agents with the primary objective of accelerating financial inclusion in Nigeria. According to the plan, the project will among other things create a platform for Nigerian owned financial services companies to grow whilst empowering and creating jobs for Nigerians. SANEF in partnership with NSIP will onboard 200,000 N-Power graduates as SANEF agents under the approved SANEF licensed Super Agents, while achieving N-Power’s objective to improve the livelihood of a critical mass of young unemployed Nigerians. Under the scheme, the beneficiaries will be trained in different areas including customer service, transaction settlement, liquidity management, anti-money laundering, among others, while government would facilitate the initial funding for the scheme for each beneficiary. Requirements for the SANEF programme include the N-Power certificate; Bank Verification Number; Bank account number; duly completed agent enrolment form from operator; proof of identity, among other documents. The second exit strategy which is already being implemented is the deployment of former N-Agro beneficiaries for the Mass Agric programme as geospatial experts and enumerators. The goal is to engage the beneficiaries in the geo-mapping of farmlands and the enumeration of farmers, across the country for the programme.
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The Mass Agric programme is a component of the Economic Sustainability Plan designed to among other things engage millions of farmers, cultivating thousands of hectares of land across the country. According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari, “over 30,000 former N-Agro beneficiaries have been enlisted and deployed to Local Government Areas across the country for the mapping of farmlands and enumeration of farmers under the Mass Agric programme. ” They are being supervised by the agricultural development officers in the Local Government Areas, he added. Speaking on the third programme for the former N-Power beneficiaries, a ministry official who explained the plan noted that the micro-enterprise initiative, the third programme under the exit strategy, is one where exited N-power beneficiaries are offered the option of applying for a proposed GEEP loan to fund their small businesses. “Joint collaboration is encouraged to form registered cooperatives in line with earlier established GEEP loan requirements. The official noted that arrangements were ongoing for effective collaboration with state governments and other stakeholders to ensure that former N-Power beneficiaries maintain viable income streams in the new arrangements put in place by the Buhari administration.
Already, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the expansion of the N-power beneficiaries from 500,000 to one million.