The Federal Government of Nigeria has assured NPower beneficiaries that once investigations are complete, backlog payments will be made, and the program will be restructured for better service to youths. Learn more about the government’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has taken a significant step towards providing hope and assurance to the beneficiaries of the N-Power program. Dr. Akindele Egbuwalo, the National Programme Manager of N-Power, released a statement on Sunday, addressing the temporary suspension of the program and outlining the government’s commitment to addressing various issues within the initiative.
In the statement, Dr. Egbuwalo reiterated the government’s dedication to resolving outstanding payment issues and improving the N-Power program to benefit a broader range of young Nigerians. Here’s a detailed look at the key points and promises made by the Federal Government:
1. Temporary Suspension for Investigation: The government announced the temporary suspension of the N-Power program to facilitate a comprehensive investigation into its operations over the past twelve months. This pause is essential to address various concerns, including the accurate count of program participants, those owed payments, and the utilization of funds.
2. Auditing Beneficiaries: One of the primary objectives of this investigation is to audit the N-Power beneficiaries. This audit aims to identify those who have left the program, those who are still owed payments, and those who have been receiving payments without fulfilling their obligations. The government intends to eliminate “ghost beneficiaries” and ensure that only genuine participants receive support.
3. Addressing Outstanding Payments: The government acknowledged that some beneficiaries have not received stipends for up to eight to nine months. This includes graduates and non-graduate volunteers from Batch C1 and C2. The government is committed to resolving these payment issues and ensuring that all valid outstanding obligations are met.
4. Transparency and Accountability: To regain the trust and confidence of Nigerians, the government has emphasized that transparency and accountability will be at the core of the N-Power program’s restructuring. The days of unaccounted funds and irregularities are numbered as the government strives to put the program on a solid footing.
5. Program Restructuring: The N-Power program is set to undergo a significant transformation. The age limit for beneficiaries will be expanded from 35 to 40, allowing a broader range of young people to benefit. Additionally, new programs will be introduced in fields such as Education, Health, Works, Agriculture, Technology, fashion, entertainment, and other relevant areas of skill acquisition and employability.
6. Targeting 5 Million Beneficiaries: The government has set an ambitious target of reaching 5 million beneficiaries within five years, at a pace of 1 million per year. This expansion aims to empower more young Nigerians with skills and opportunities for personal and professional growth.
7. Zero Tolerance for Mismanagement: The government expressed its commitment to rectifying the mismanagement of funds by some consultants. Those found holding onto beneficiaries’ funds without proper justification will face consequences, and the funds will be recalled to pay those who are owed.
In conclusion, the Federal Government of Nigeria’s pledge to investigate and restructure the N-Power program is a step in the right direction. It not only addresses the concerns of beneficiaries but also demonstrates the government’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and providing opportunities for the country’s youth. As the program undergoes these changes, it is expected to serve as a more effective tool for poverty alleviation and youth empowerment in Nigeria.