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President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed on April 2, 2020, that all Civil Servants, unfortunately, beneficiaries of N-Power 2016 and 2017 batch are yet to be paid their March stipend one week into another month.
The delay is uncalled for and inhumane considering the difficulty volunteers of the youth empowerment programme are going through at a time the entire country is in total lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
@npower_ng, it's a big shame that beneficiaries has to beg you before their stipends are paid. Whie @Sadiya_farouq &others in charge of this program are living large. The penury stipends you are paying beneficiaries has yo be delayed. Wicked politicians.
— Teya (@teyaZeal) April 4, 2020
The government also directed that N20, 000 be dolled out to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians across the country. That has started in Abuja and other parts of the country.
“We have directed immediate cash transfer to the poorest and most vulnerable households in the country. But for the COVID-19, the vulnerable groups have to expand, because we are aware that there are people who live on daily wage, so we are also going to look at those groups of people to see how we can get this food relief intervention to them in this period,” nairametrics quoted him as saying.
Sadly, some beneficiaries of the N-Power are also vulnerable, some of them have no other means of livelihood apart from the N30, 000 stipend they receive the end of the month.
Their monthly stipend has never been prompt since the Social Investment Programme was moved to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
While we understand the huge tasks before the minister, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, who is managing the conditional cash transfer across the country, she needs to understand that the N-Power beneficiaries most especially those who are posted to clinics across the country are still going out of their comfort zone to discharge their duty.
The N-teach and N-Agro, we understand were going to their various Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) until Buhari announce lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun State while some state governments followed suit.
As such, N-Power beneficiaries deserve better treatment from the government, the negligence must stop, the order of the president must be obeyed.
Beneficiaries continue to complain
Volunteers of the programme continued to complain on the official social media handles of N-Power and the honourable minister to no avail.
Recently, specifically on April 6, 2020, Hajia Sadiya shared on Twitter her efforts at cushion the effect of COVID-19. One of the things she did was paying a visit to the National Strategic Food Reserves in Niger State.
She tweeted, “Today, I visited the National Strategic Food Reserves, Minna, Niger State with the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alh. Sabo Nanono who, officially, handed over to @FMHDSD for distribution, the grains promised by Federal Govt. as palliative measures to cushion the effect of the lockdown directives necessitated by the spread of #COVID19 pandemic. @nemanigeria is already on the ground with trucks to move the grains to the States affected by the lockdown as directed by His Excellency, President @MBuhari.”
Nice, i want to let you know that some npower beneficiaries are worried about the late payment of their stipends.
— Abdulrahman illo (@abdulrahmanillo) April 6, 2020
Most the complaints of the beneficiaries are either ignore or the usual and tiring response, “be patient as we’re working on disturbing your stipend.”
Please bear with us, you will receive your stipends for January and February shortly.
— N-Power (@npower_ng) March 16, 2020
Unlike before, when the Twitter handle @npower_ng updated volunteers, the handle has now gone into a slumber. At the time of compiling this report (Tuesday, April 7, 2020), the last tweet was March 16, 2020.
It is wrong to withhold npower beneficiaries stipend at this period of lockdown. How do you expect beneficiaries to feed their families? This is wickedness.
— STAY SAFE (@raimisundayo) April 7, 2020
If the programme was created to alleviate the suffering of young Nigerian graduates, the continuous delay of stipend to N-Power volunteers must stop immediately.
For how long would the volunteers continue to beg FG for the monthly stipend to be released? Enough is enough!
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Madam,does NSIP Monitors offended you by finding it difficult to pay them February n March salaries, it's unfair to suffered Nigerians with Nigerian money cos God give everything for the sake of everyone. Kindly pay them before they begins to WISH you DEATH.
— Larry Fash (@LarryFash47) April 7, 2020
Aunty Mai Dabino you're heartless for not paying Npower beneficiaries despite the Presidents directives…
— Salma (@Salma91739897) April 7, 2020
All NSIP Beneficiary must rise of Challenge and Call on this Minister to Resign Now her Continue stay is a theat to the survival of many NSIP Volunteers and their families who depend on their monthly stipend for survival. #sadiya Farouq Resigned Now.
— Sanin-mani (@Saninmani) April 7, 2020
And u Madam Minister, you are at the fore-front of putting Npower beneficiaries to starvation. Thank you very much Ma. Job well done 🙄
— Sadiq Dandaura (@deeksa88) April 7, 2020
With the level of ease of communication in this modern world, one would expect you at least say the reasons why npower payment is delayed except of course there is not ounce of pity in your heart…. Aba
— oluscofield adeyemi (@OluscofieldA) April 8, 2020