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Throngs of beneficiaries of the Federal government empowerment programme N-Power demonstrated at the National Assembly Abuja over their disengagement from the programme while the government is yet to fully pay owed salaries.
The federal government had said by end of June and July, the 500,000 youths engaged under the social intervention scheme would be disengaged.
Specifically, they are the beneficiaries which formed batches A and B who have worked as teachers in government schools, community tax liaison officers including those in agricultural businesses and building facilitated by the government — while enjoying monthly stipend.
According to Mrs. Sadiya Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, 200,000 from Batch A which started in September 2016 and 300,000 from Batch B which kicked off in August 2018 are affected.
Ms. Farouq said they were supposed to spend 24 months on the programme but Batch A beneficiaries have spent over 40 months.
The Minister had further stated that the federal government has commenced the transitioning of the Batch A and B into government entrepreneurship schemes.
We have commenced the transitioning of beneficiaries from Batches A & B into government entrepreneurship schemes and engaging private sector bodies to absorb some of the beneficiaries after the completion of psychometric assessment to determine competency and placement into various opportunities.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs on Thursday indicted 14, 020 N-Power beneficiaries of being the cause of the delay in the payment of their stipends arising from irregularities they were found to have indulged in.
The Ministry said the beneficiaries are found to be on the payroll of other government agencies.
This was contained in a statement which was signed by Deputy Director (Information), Rhoda Ishaku Iliya.
In the statement, the ministry indicated that the Office of the Accountant–General of the Federation (OAGF) discovered that beneficiaries’ account details were already existing in other MDAs.
This she said caused the delay as the irregularity is against the established rule of the N-Power programme.
For many months now, especially since the exit of the Batch B N-Power programme, beneficiaries have lamented non payment of their stipends for months by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, saddled with the responsibility of facilitating the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) of the Federal Government, Iliya said.
The attention of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has been drawn to the complaint of non-payment of some N-Power beneficiaries during the last exercise, with some alleging non-payment for upward of four months.
For the records, the Ministry wishes to state that it had always processed, approved and remit necessary information for payments to the Office of the Accountant–General of the Federation (OAGF), whose responsibility it is to credit the various accounts of the beneficiaries using the GIFMIS platform as directed by FGN.
However, after receiving complaints of non-payment by some beneficiaries, who did same through the ministry, the OAGF (GIFMIS) officially wrote informing the ministry that out of a total of Five Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Six Hundred (516,600) N-Power beneficiaries data sent to OAGF for migration in April, 2020, only a total of Five Hundred and Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty (502,580) data have successfully migrated to the GIFMIS platform.
A total of Fourteen Thousand and Twenty (14,020) beneficiaries were returned because the beneficiaries’ account details already existed in other MDAs, which is against the established rule of the N-Power programme. This is verifiable.
The Honourable Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, regrets any inconvenience this might have caused genuine and eligible beneficiaries just as the OAGF saddled with the responsibility of filtering out those denied is working assiduously to remedy the situation.”
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