Last updated on October 16th, 2023 at 07:29 am
Bola Tinubu-led government has recovered looted N-Power funds from the consultants of the youth empowerment programme.
The ongoing investigation into the management of funds for the programme led to the recovery of funds held by the ‘former’ consultant of N-Power scheme, an official of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation has told InfomediaNG.
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Earlier, the ministry vowed not to tolerate a situation whereby consultants of the programme would withhold the salaries of beneficiaries who were due to payment.
“Preliminary findings of our audit have shown that some consultants are holding on to beneficiaries’ funds disbursed to them long ago even when their contract ended in March 2023 without any renewal.
“We condemn this practice and will not tolerate it going forward. Work is ongoing to identify those involved, understand why the payments didn’t get to the final beneficiaries, and recall the funds to pay those owed.”
Similarly, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Dr Betta Edu a few days ago announced the suspension of the youth empowerment scheme to carry out proper investigation into the financial management of the programme.
She promised for a better delivery and put in mechanism to ensure beneficiaries who diligently worked get paid.
We earlier reported at least eight months stipends of majority of batch C beneficiaries of the programme were not paid.
Batch C was divided into two: Stream 1 and Stream 2.
8 Month Backlogs To Be Disbursed
Meanwhile, the National Program Manager of N-Power, Mr Akindele Egbuwalo, had promised representatives of N-Power beneficiaries that they would start receiving their eight-month backlogs.
“Payment for N-Power Beneficiaries Batch C who have been owed for eight months will begin soon” he promised.
The National Program Manager revealed that the minister and her team are working round the clock to put an end to the abnormality of owing beneficiaries who reported and worked at their various place of primary assignment (PPA).
“Many irregularities which hitherto had sabotaged the smooth implementation of the Program are being addressed.
“The good news is that the money have been recovered and it would allow for payment of beneficiaries,” N-Power programme manager disclosed.
He called on young Nigerians to be patient as the restructuring was in their best interest and it will lead to expansion of the program to accommodate millions of young people.
How N-Power started losing its objective
NPower scheme was the biggest youth empowerment programme in Africa, thanks to the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, It started in 2016 while beneficiaries were paid N30,000 as a monthly stipend.
The programme, at kick-off, was domiciled in the Office of former Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and appointed Afolabi Imokhuede as the National Coordinator of the programme.
During his reign, Mr Afolabi held monthly online round table meetings with beneficiaries to address issues of bothering on payment, deployment, and redeployment. That was the last time the management of N-Power was effective.
The largest youth empowerment lost its core mandate due to poor management after it was put under the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development in August 2019.
The administration of Tinubu promised to revitalize the scheme by expanding it and making it more effective.