The Federal Government, in its explanation on Sunday, outlined further justifications for its decision to halt the N-Power program. It mentioned the existence of phantom beneficiaries and the withholding of participants’ funds by some consultants as contributing factors to the suspension. Su
Waffi TV reported that more than a million Nigerians lost their jobs due to the government’s indefinite suspension of the program, announced by Minister Betta Edu on Saturday. The N-Power initiative, initiated during former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to combat youth unemployment, provided a monthly stipend of N30,000 to beneficiaries.
National Programme Manager N-Power, Akindele Egbuwalo, elaborated on additional reasons for the scheme’s suspension, emphasizing the need to eliminate ghost workers.
On concerns about consultants of the scheme, he said, “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.
“We appeal to Nigerians to understand the rationale behind the temporary suspension and investigation of the programme as we work to restore the nation’s confidence in the programme and for the new N-Power to serve Nigerians better. Things have to be properly done for us to move forward.”
Egbuwalo mentioned that the current restructuring and transformation efforts will lead to the creation of an extended program that aims to cater to individuals between the ages of 18 and 40. This represents an increase from the previous age limit of 35.
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