FG Gives Reasons for Suspending N-Power Scheme, Begins Probe

The Federal Government has given reasons for the temporary suspension of N-Power Programme of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
This, the government said that it was to pave the way for a detailed audit of the scheme that was established as a component of National Social Investment Programme.
The Federal Government had on June 8, 2016, commenced the project with a view to address issues bordering on youth unemployment and increase social development.
National Programme Manager of N-Power, Dr Akindele Egbuwalo said on Sunday in Abuja that the suspension and audit became necessary in order to provide a detailed investigation into N-Power’s operations in the last 12 months.
He maintained that 960,000 Nigerians were enrolled in the scheme since its inception till date, adding that there is the need to audit the number of people under the scheme as many beneficiaries exited from N-POWER 1.0 and N-POWER 2.0, Batch A and Batch B.
Egbuwalo hinted that the audit was also necessary to ascertain the number of people owed and how the funds were utilised over the years.
He lamented that some beneficiaries that concluded their programme since 2022 were still expecting payment from government.
The programme manager stated that some beneficiaries do not report to their places of primary assignments as required, but still receive monthly payments.
He informed that some beneficiaries have other jobs and exited from the programme but are still benefiting from payments, while some working were not paid, a situation that promoted a thorough audit of the scheme.
Egbuwalo promised Nigerians that the government would prioritise claims of those owed between eight and nine months stipends after uncovering their claims.
“Graduates and non-graduate volunteers Batch C1 & Batch C2 are in this category. We want to establish the exact number of people owed and the total cost implication to eliminate ghost beneficiaries.
“Our preliminary findings show that some consultants are holding on to beneficiaries’ funds disbursed to them long ago, even when their contract ended in March 2023 without a renewal, ” he added.
Egbuwalo vowed that the government would no longer tolerate sharp practices, adding that the probe would unravel consultants that failed to pay the beneficiaries.
While assuring that the recovered funds would be paid to the affected beneficiaries, he expressed government’s determination to restructure and expand the programme to accommodate persons within the ages of 18 years and 40 years, as against the previous age limit of 35 years.
The programme manager said that the restructuring would accommodate some new programmes in education, health, works, agriculture, technology, fashion, entertainment, and other relevant areas of skills acquisition and employment.
He informed that the government targets the enrollment of five million beneficiaries in five years, at the rate of one million beneficiaries per year under the graduate and non-graduate streams.

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