Numerous beneficiaries of the Nigerian government’s N-Power initiative are saying that contrary to what was claimed by Nneka Ikem, the Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to Sadiya Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, that hundreds of Batches A and B beneficiaries have been cleared for payment of their 5-month arrears of their stipends, they are yet to receive or see any evidence.
Ikem early Wednesday morning posted on her known Twitter handle that 8,900 N-Power beneficiaries out of the 14, 200 owed volunteers have been cleared for stipends’ settlement.
She added that “an sms has been sent to you, so quickly log into https://nexit-fmhds.cbn.gov.ng/auth/login to join others for the next level of empowerment.”
But AllNews spoke to several affected bonafide N-Power Batch A and B beneficiaries, and they all disputed Ikem’s claim.
“Lies. Propaganda is what they thrive on,” a former beneficiary, based in Lagos, who simply identified himself as Bright told this reporter in a chat.
Another affected ex-beneficiary, Yetunde Ajayi, from Ekiti State, told this reporter via phone that she didn't get any notification to indicate she has been cleared for payment.
Yomi Adebola, a Lagos-based erstwhile beneficiary told this reporter same thing on phone.
Below are responses from other affected ex-beneficiaries:
Bilyaminu Maradun from Zamfara State: “I'm yet to receive any sms or e-mail and I'm among backlogs.”
Oluseye Tolulope: “I am part of the unpaid beneficiaries and nothing has been paid and no one said anything about being paid... this is wickedness; it’s more than a year already for the backlog.”
Eunice Kendra: “I hope it's true I haven't gotten any SMS oh.”
Onaji Abraham: “I haven't received any message and I'm one of the beneficiaries been owed 5 months backlog.”
Osaji Arthur: “Last stipend payment of 30,000 till now have not been credited. All wema bank users.”
Iby Akai: “We would have appreciated if the Breaking news! read: 8900 Batch A & B beneficiaries have started to receive their 5 months arrears of stipends. We're tired of all these news without action.”
Yakubu Hassan: “Madam I'm one of the affected beneficiary and up to date I couldn't be able register my NEXIT also I didn't receive any message that shows clearly my 5 months arrears will be Paid.”
Anonymous: “Why is it wen the issue of planning for protest comes up Sadiya Farouq will bring up an update to divert the minds of the exited beneficiaries why not deliver this innocent pple and be free Madam pay all both the exit package!!”
Anita Odiete: “Any time this woman hear of protest that's when she wants to act as if she working for d beneficiaries.dont b deceived.”
Kolawole Olubunmi: “What about the beneficiary using WEMA bank but was not paid June stipend last year (a month)?”
Abu Shuaib: “I haven't receive anything and I am among the affected beneficiaries.”
It is just five days to the N-Power protest, organized by the 36 States and FCT N-Power Representatives Forum.
Recall the forum had on March 16 in a statement signed by Kabiru Aliyu Pelemi, its National President, vowed to mobilise 500, 000 Nigerian youths to occupy the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development of Nigeria. The ministry is saddled with National Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs), which the N-Power scheme is part of.
Five months after the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development asked Batches A and B beneficiaries who are owed multiple months stipends to see their State Focal Person, Sadiya Farouq, who heads the ministry has continued to ignore their cries.
More than 14,000 bonafide N-Power Batches A and B beneficiaries, who were disengaged from the scheme since July 2020 have not been paid their entitled stipends (many of them owed March to July, and Wema Bank users didn't get paid for June 2020). This, despite the revalidation exercise that happened in October 2020 across major Nigerian states.
Also, since releasing the NEXIT Portal on November 30 2020 - four months after exiting N-Power Batches A and B beneficiaries, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development of Nigeria which is saddled with N-Power duties have not effected the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Empowerment Programme.
This is despite the fact that hundreds of ex-N-Power beneficiaries have logged on to the NEXIT portal and provided the required additional information for possible placements into the various CBN intervention options.
Pelemi had said that N-Power Batches A and B beneficiaries who were exited from the famed scheme in July 2020 are tired of Minister Sadiya Farouq and her ministry’s delay tactics.
The ultimatum given ends on Monday, 12th April, 2021.
“You exited us with no meaningful plan during a pandemic period. Nexit program is another delay tactics and a big scam to us because over 200,000 Volunteers could not complete their registration and no meaningful plans yet on the portal.
“36 States and FCT N-Power Representatives Forum give you from today Tuesday,16th March, 2021 to Monday, 12th April, 2021 to fulfill all the promises you made to the Exited N-Power Volunteers or we mobilize 500,000 Nigeria youths to occupy the ministry.
“This time around, it will be no going back.
“Enough is enough,” the statement by the 36 States and FCT N-Power Representatives Forum had read.
Established in 2016, the N-Power scheme is one of the national social investment programmes of the federal government targeted at unemployed graduates who are engaged by the government and paid N30,000 monthly stipend.