FG suspends NPower: Federal Government Suspends N-Power Program Indefinitely: Investigation into Irregularities Underway
In a significant development, the Nigerian Federal Government has announced the indefinite suspension of the N-Power program. The decision was made public by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, during an interview on TVC News on a Saturday.
Reasons for Suspension
The suspension of the N-Power program is rooted in concerns over irregularities within the scheme. Minister Betta Edu cited several key issues that led to this decision:
- Utilization of Funds: The government has initiated an investigation into the utilization of funds since the inception of the N-Power program. It is crucial to ensure that funds allocated for the program have been properly utilized and accounted for.
- Beneficiary Irregularities: Some beneficiaries of the N-Power program are reportedly not fulfilling their duties at their designated places of assignment. This raises concerns as these individuals continue to expect monthly stipends despite not actively participating in the program.
- Overdue Exits: It has come to light that certain beneficiaries were supposed to have exited the program as of 2022 but remain on the payroll. This has led to questions about the accuracy of the program’s beneficiary list and the disbursement of funds.
Restructuring and Expansion
Minister Edu emphasized that the suspension of the N-Power program is temporary and is intended to facilitate a comprehensive investigation into these issues. The government aims to undertake a thorough review of the program, including:
- Beneficiary Audit: The government plans to assess the current number of individuals enrolled in the N-Power program, identify those who are owed stipends, and determine the amounts owed to them.
- Restructuring: The N-Power program will undergo a significant restructuring process to address the identified irregularities and challenges.
- Expansion: The government intends to expand and improve the program to better fulfill its objectives, which include addressing youth unemployment and promoting social development.
Challenges in Implementation
Minister Betta Edu’s statements shed light on the challenges faced in implementing the N-Power program. The revelation that a significant percentage of beneficiaries are not actively engaged in their assignments while still receiving stipends raises concerns about the program’s efficiency and accountability.
The N-Power Program was launched by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration as a vital initiative to combat youth unemployment and promote social development in Nigeria. However, as the program faces suspension for the time being, it is evident that addressing these irregularities and ensuring the efficient utilization of funds will be essential in reshaping its future.
In conclusion, the indefinite suspension of the N-Power program underscores the importance of transparency, accountability, and effectiveness in government initiatives aimed at addressing critical issues such as youth unemployment. The government’s commitment to investigating irregularities and improving the program’s structure signals its dedication to addressing these challenges and ultimately benefiting the Nigerian youth and society as a whole.