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Why FG suspended N-Power programme

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It is imperative to inform Nigerians, particularly beneficiaries of the N-Power programme across the country, of the temporary suspension of the programme.

 

This action has become necessary to give room for a detailed investigation into the operations of the N-Power in the last twelve months. The total number of persons enrolled on NPOWER since inception to date is 960,000 people. Most of them have exited from NPower 1.0 and NPower 2.0 batch A and B

 

There is a need to audit the number of people in the programme, those who have exited the program, those who are being owed, whether the reported to work or not and how funds have been utilised over this period of time.

Recently, we discovered instances of programme beneficiaries whose participation has lapsed since 2022 but have remained on and continue to expect payments from the government. In addition, some beneficiaries must honour their obligation to the programme: They do not report to their places of primary assignments as required but still receive monthly payments. Some have other jobs and have left this bracket but are still benefiting from the payments, while those who truly worked are not paid

These instances have made the need for a thorough audit imperative, as we also look into claims of those being owed for up to eight to nine months’ stipends to ascertain the veracity of their claims. The graduates & non-graduate volunteers Batch C1 & C2 are in this category. We want to establish the exact number of people owed and the total amounts, thereby eliminating ghost beneficiaries.

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.

This restructuring and transformation will also birth an expanded programme to reach beneficiaries aged 18-40 (the previous age limit was 35). We are targeting 5 million beneficiaries in 5 years at a pace of 1 million per year under the graduate and non-graduate stream.

In addition, the restructuring will accommodate some new programmes, in Education, Health, Works, Agriculture, Technology, fashion, entertainment, and other relevant areas of skill acquisition and employability.

To earn the confidence of Nigerians in the expanded programme, transparency and accountability will be the benchmark. It shall no longer be business as usual as we make concerted efforts to put the nation on the right footing, ensuring that no one directly or indirectly unleashes suffering on Nigerians.

We assure all beneficiaries with genuine claims that we will resolve their cases once we complete the verification exercise and honour all valid outstanding obligations. Nobody will be owed.

Dr. Akindele Egbuwalo
National Programme Manager
N-Power for
Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
08/10/2023

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Breaking news: Minimum Wage: Labour rejects FG’s N54,000 offer

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The organised labour has rejected the Federal Government N54,000 new minimum wage proposal.

 

According to reliable source, the meeting on the ongoing negotiations on new minimum wage has been adjourned till Wednesday after the organised labour.

 

Media report has it that the Federal Government upped its offer from its earlier proposed N48,000 to N54,000.

Tuesday’s meeting came as a result of the walkout staged by members of the organised labour following the proposal of N48,000 as minimum wage by the Federal Government during last week’s meeting.

During that meeting, the OPS had also proposed N54,000 while labour insisted on its N615,000 living wage demand.

Our correspondent who spoke to sources who attended the follow-up meeting on Tuesday learnt that the Federal Government upped its offer from N48,000 to N54,000.

“Well, during the meeting, the government increased its offer from N48,000 to N54,000. However, labour rejected that offer and the meeting has been adjourned till Wednesday,” a source who asked not to be named said.

When asked if the government’s side was showing any sign of seriousness, the labour leader said, “No seriousness at all. Even state governors did not show up. Those who represented them, like Bauchi and Niger states, did not have the mandates to speak on their behalf.

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Junior Pope betrayed me repeatedly – Yul Edochie

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Nollywood actor Yul Edochie has claimed that his late colleague, Junior Pope, betrayed him repeatedly despite his being there for him in his times of need.

 

According to Edochie, it was the reason he shunned the late actor’s burial in Enugu State on Friday.

 

He said he wanted to wait till after Junior Pope’s burial before he reveal how the late actor betrayed him.

He promised the full story of how Junior Pope betrayed him soon.

On his Instagram story, Edochie wrote: “I didn’t want to say anything till after his burial. I know many asked why I wasn’t there. Why I haven’t said anything about it since.

“I took him like a brother & good friend. I was there for him when he needed me. But he stabbed me in the back repeatedly. That’s life!

“I’ll drop the full details soon so others can learn from it.

“Be careful what you wish people, it could come to you.”

Recall that Junior Pope died on April 10, 2024, alongside three others after their boat capsized on the Anam River in Anambra State while returning from a film location.

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