Last Updated on February 1, 2021 by Ope Quadri
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development said that the Federal Government didn’t sign permanent job agreement with the exited beneficiaries of N-Power Programme.
Deputy Director of Press in the ministry, Rhoda Iliya, made the position of the minister Sadiya Farouq known to the press Friday, July 24, 2020, a day after the N-Power 2016 and 2017 beneficiaries protested in Abuja.
The beneficiaries protested over their disengagement from the programme. They submitted two conditions before the federal government.
The protesters had requested the Federal Government to employ all the 500,000 N-Power beneficiaries or pay each of them N600,000 in gratuity.
Part of the statement read, “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 two years.
“Furthermore, the government cannot afford the N300bn they were asking for as grant.”
FG doesn’t have N300bn as grant to beneficiaries
According to the ministry, the APC-led government isn’t financially buoyant to pay a cumulative grant of N300bn to the disengaged beneficiaries.
The ministry also stated that the Federal Government had expended hundreds of billions on N-Power beneficiaries during the last four years.
The programme started in 2016 with 200, 000 beneficiaries while another batch of 300, 000 beneficiaries joined in 2017.
Both batched have been disengaged. The plan of the government was to temporarily engage unemployed Nigerians youths for a period of two-year.
The 2016 beneficiaries were on the payroll of the government for more than three years while the 2017 batch spent two years.
They were disengaged while N-Power application portal was opened to bring fresh people aboard.
On unpaid beneficiaries
The statement stated that the ministry was currently liaising with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, the agency responsible for the payment of N-Power beneficiaries’ stipends, to ensure that any outstanding legitimate claim was settled.
It noted that it’s working with other ministries, departments and agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria to see if the exited beneficiaries could key into their empowerment programmes.
The 2016 and 2017 during their protest in Abuja lamented that they didn’t want to go back to the street, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to recruit them into various ministries across the country.