Breaking News: N-Power Program Suspends by the Federal Government
The Federal Government has made a significant announcement concerning the N-Power initiative.
Effective immediately, the program has been suspends indefinitely, sparking wide-ranging reactions from stakeholders and participants alike.
The announcement was conveyed by Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, during her appearance on TVC News.
For those unfamiliar, the N-Power program was spearheaded by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. Its primary objective was to address the increasing concerns regarding youth unemployment in the nation.
By doing so, it aimed to bolster social development, providing young citizens with opportunities to earn, learn, and contribute positively to society.
However, in her interview, Minister Edu revealed several alarming issues that had prompted this suspension. Among the top concerns was the discovery of significant irregularities within the scheme’s operations.
A notable example she mentioned was the fact that a considerable number of beneficiaries were receiving stipends without fulfilling their designated roles or tasks. This goes against the core principle of the initiative, which was to ensure participants actively contributed to their designated sectors while benefiting from the program’s provisions.
One of the more glaring irregularities highlighted was the continued presence of beneficiaries on the payroll, even though they should have exited the program as of 2022. These individuals not only remained on the list but also continued to claim their monthly stipends. The minister shared an example where some individuals claimed to still be teaching under the program’s umbrella.
However, upon verification, many of these claims proved false. Schools or institutions they were supposedly attached to had no records of their active involvement. Some of these beneficiaries even claimed months’ worth of pending stipends, despite not fulfilling their duties.
Minister Edu’s revelation that roughly 80% of such beneficiaries were falsely claiming salaries while not actively working is a cause for concern. It questions the integrity of the program’s current operational structure and the checks and balances that should be in place.
To address these concerns head-on, the government has decided to launch a comprehensive investigation into the N-Power program’s fund utilization since its inception. The investigation’s primary goals would be to ascertain the number of genuine beneficiaries, determine if any are owed stipends, and understand the exact amounts involved.
The outcome of this investigation would shape the future direction of the initiative. Minister Edu indicated that they are considering restructuring the program, hinting at a potential expansion once the issues are ironed out.
The N-Power program’s suspension, while necessary, will undoubtedly have ripple effects. Many genuine beneficiaries who rely on it for sustenance will face challenges.
The general public, especially the youth, will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of the investigation and the subsequent decisions the government takes. The integrity and success of such initiatives are crucial for the nation’s socio-economic growth and for maintaining trust between the government and its citizens.