NPower News Update: FG Replies Protesting Npower Beneficiaries, Speaks On N600,000 Grant And Permanent Employment.
The Nigerian federal government has replied to the demands of some protesting N-Power beneficiaries who want the government to hire exiting Batch A and B beneficiaries.
Also on Thursday, July 23, the protesting beneficiaries had requested that the government pay each of them N600,000 grant if they could not permanently employ them.
Top Gist Portal recalls the protesters marching on the nation’s capital city, Abuja from the National Assembly to the Federal Secretariat Building, bearing banners featuring many inscriptions such as “Power volunteers are required to close the gap in unemployment levels in the country’s education , health and agricultural sectors.”
The beneficiaries of the Batch A have already been exited from the program, while the beneficiaries of Batch B will exit at the end of July, meaning that about 500,000 Nigerians will be exited from the N-Power scheme.
In response to the latest requests from the exiting beneficiaries, the federal government noted in a statement by the Director (Press) at the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on Friday that the beneficiaries were not able to afford the N300 billion grant.
She noted that the requests were contradictory to the Government’s initial agreements with the applicants, adding that they were fully aware of the conditions before taking up a government offer.
The statement noted that:
“On Thursday 23rd of July 2020, a rally at the National Assembly which later proceeded to the Federal Secretariat Complex.
“The protesters claimed to be representatives of the Federal Government’s N-Power beneficiaries that are about to be exited.
“They requested the Federal Government to employ all the 500,000 beneficiaries as well as pay them a grant of N600,000 each.
“The Ministry wishes to state that this demand was not part of the agreement of engagement they signed with the Federal Government, which clearly stipulated that they will be exited after 2 years.
“Furthermore, the government cannot afford the N300 billion they were asking for a grant.
“It is noteworthy to state that the FGN has expended hundreds of billions to N-Power beneficiaries during the last 4 years and is liaising with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, which is responsible for the payment of their stipends, to ensure that any outstanding legitimate claim is settled.
“The Federal Government cannot afford to continue to pay the exited N-Power beneficiaries stipends indefinitely, more so that the process of engagement of new beneficiaries has already begun.
Nevertheless, the spokeswoman for the Ministry noted that the government is negotiating with related agencies such as CBN and NALDA to see if the exited beneficiaries can be crucial in their empowerment programmes.
Top Gist Portal recalls the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, in a statement personally signed a few weeks ago, shed more light on why the government is exiting around 500,000 N-Power beneficiaries.
The Minister clarified in her statement that if the two batches are not exited from the system, government does not have sufficient resources to support the new beneficiaries of the Batch C due to the impact on the economy of the nation’s coronavirus pandemic.
She added that
“The transitioning and exit of Batch A and B is not a punitive action. It is a proactive intervention to help up skill your brothers and sisters and assist them further along on their journey through life.”
She used the opportunity to thank the members of Batch A and B for their service to the government, and urged them to remain good ambassadors of the scheme.
Hajia Farouq also gave assurances to the outgoing beneficiaries that her ministry and N-Power system administrators would be in contact with them on specifics of their transfer and exit from the system.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development has clarified that some NPower beneficiaries were not paid their stipends since their accounts on other government payrolls were already accepted by the payment network.
Rhoda Iliya, deputy director of information at the ministry, disclosed in a statement on Thursday that NPower’s 14,020 beneficiaries have current accounts on other agencies’ payroll.