Beneficiaries of the N-Power batch C2 have attacked President Muhammadu Buhari’s government over the non-payment of their allowances for four months.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to SaharaReporters urged the Nigerian government to pay their stipends.
According to them, they are being owed for four months, a situation which they say has left many of them hungry and sick.
“The N-Power batch C2 beneficiaries were deployed in September 2022 but we were asked to resume at their place of primary assignments (PPA) on the 4th of October, 2022.
“Please tell President Buhari and Sadiya Umar Farouq to pay N-Power stream 2 their four months stipends.
“We have been working tirelessly since October 2022 without a single salary. People are really suffering going to their PPA, please come to people’s aid because Buhari and Sadiya Umar Farouq don’t have single human sympathy in their hearts,” one of them told SaharaReporters.
Another beneficiary said, “The N-Power Program emerged in 2016 shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari took over power. The agency was crafted to serve as a national safety net to cushion the effects of poverty and unemployment among our teeming youth population.
“What I’m saying now will examine the impact of corruption on N-Power Program and the recent discovery by ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission) of the alleged infusion of more than 70,000 ghost workers into the scheme between 2016 and 2020.
“It is now clear that corruption that garroted subsidy programme in Nigeria seems to have secured a new platform through N-Power by making it an elite wealth recycling agency at the same time when Batch C2 beneficiaries were owed almost 4 months salaries.
“It may interest you to know that billions of Naira budgeted solely for the N-Power Program have not in any way translated into the development of the way of lives or standards of living of the beneficiaries or add any value to their lives.
“It is shameful and extremely painful our government has held unto our four months stipends without any explanation, whatsoever.”
Since its creation by President Muhammadu Buhari in June 2016 to address youth unemployment and help increase social development in the country, the N-Power scheme has been dogged by many scandals and failed to live up to its billing.
Recently, popular musician, Oladapo Oyebanji, famously known as D’banj was arrested by ICPC for after he was accused of diverting hundreds of millions of naira earmarked by the Nigerian government for the N-Power project.
Soon after his arrest, it was revealed to SaharaReporters how top government officials introduced over 90,000 ghost workers into the programme and fraudulently diverted billions of naira into their pockets.
In June 2021, SaharaReporters reported that 14,000 beneficiaries of the N-Power programme were owed for five months.
N-Power is a youth empowerment scheme sponsored by the Nigerian government under the Social Investment Programme (SIP).
Other programmes under the scheme include Home Grown School Feeding, Tradermoni, Marketmoni and the Conditional Cash Transfer in the 36 states of the country.
SaharaReporters gathered that since the social investment programme of the government was moved to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the minister, Sadiya Farouq, had been making attempts to stop some of the programmes under the scheme.
Aside from announcing that beneficiaries would be laid off, she had also refused to release funds for the school feeding programme in some states.
A source at the humanitarian ministry once told SaharaReporters that top government officials in President Buhari’s government had been using cronies to siphon funds under the social intervention programmes.