The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, has said the 200, 000 N-Power 2016 beneficiaries have no reason to fear over their exit from the programme.
N-Power started began in 2016 with 200,000 Nigerian graduates posted to schools, health facilities and Agric farms across the country.
It was designed to last for 2-year, but due to the rate of unemployment in Nigeria, the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has kept them in payroll since 2016 even though they’re expected to have been exited in 2018.
In a recent interview with Daily Trust, the soft-spoken Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq said the 2016 batch of the programme should stop living in fear.
Specifically, Daily Trust posed a question her: N-Power beneficiaries are continually living in fear because they keep hearing that they will soon be relieved of their jobs. A national daily recently reported that 200,000 of them will not be paid the January stipends, can you respond to this to give them some relieve?
Sadiya’s response is: ”I don’t know the reason for the fear. N-Power is a government programme aimed at supporting our teeming unemployed youths.
“We started with the first batch in 2016, who were supposed to exit in 2018, but because of plans not being in place, the tenure was extended. So, they knew from the onset that it’s not a programme that will be there for life.”
She said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari wanted the beneficiaries to earn a living, and “we want to believe that most of them that are wise must have saved out of the stipend they are being paid monthly.
“I don’t think we should have this panic. From the onset, they knew this programme was for a period of time.”
On Exit plan:
Ms Farouq who also spoke about why she hasn’t met with Mrs Aisha Buhari after her marriage rumour to President Buhari, stated that her ministry s collaborating and holding talks with stakeholders for options for the planned exit.
“We are not just going to exit them and leave them to their fate, we have options, and we are exploring these options. We will have a futuristic exit so that they can have something to fall back on,” she was quoted as saying.
When she was asked the exact exit date for the beneficiaries, Sadiya Farouq “The year has just started; we hope that before the end of the year, we should come up with an exit plan for them.”
We’ll keep you updated.