Nigerian government is working on how to “disengage” over 200,000 beneficiaries of the government social intervention programme dubbed N-Power, an official has said.
Maryam Uwais, senior special assistant to the President on social investment, in an interview with Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) said she in talks with the finance ministry on the next plan.
“We are trying to see how we can address some of these gaps through these N-power beneficiaries that are meant to be disengaged by end of the year,” Uwais said.
“We are looking out loans to be made available to them, it has not be finalized yet with the finance ministry,” she added.
In 2017, former senior special assistant to the President on N-Power Scheme, Afolabi Imoukhuede, said no fewer than 200,000 out of 500,000 youth-targeted had been empowered for the first batch of the scheme in 2016.
Although the 2016 beneficiaries were due to be released in 2018, the Nigerian government had since said it had a ‘big plan’ for the beneficiaries.
“The 2016 beneficiaries will proceed into an enhancement programme as you continue to give your service and earn your monthly stipend,” the government said in a statement in October 2018.
The federal government noted that “the details of the N-Power Enhance will gladden” and hinted that the enhancement plan is a “multi-sector, multilayered and multi-pronged” one.
The government plans however have remained unclear.
Last week, the 2016 N-power beneficiaries observed a message on their personal dashboard on the N-power portal.
The message outlined that the beneficiaries have options of transitioning to community police, teaching, farming and mobile agents and access to 100,000 naira loan to start a community business.
The mobile money agent tagged SANEF (Shared Agent Network Expansion Facility) is powered by Central Bank of Nigeria.
Curiously, no official statement about the transition yet.
However, some volunteers have expressed difficulties in activating their options, while some others beneficiaries have been able to activate their options.
The N-Power Volunteer Corps is part of the ruling All Progressives Congress’ Social Investment Programmes, SIP, under which 500,000 graduates had so far been recruited.
It is currently in operation in the 36 states of Nigeria. The main thrust of the N-Power scheme is to harness Nigeria’s young demography through appropriate skill development, providing a structure for large scale and relevant work skills acquisition and development, and linking outcomes to fixing inadequate public services and stimulating the larger economy.
Beneficiaries are engaged in different areas of public service, including education (N-Teach), health (N-Health), agriculture (N-Agro), building/construction (N-Build). Beneficiaries are paid a monthly stipend of N30,000 during their period of engagement.
Source: Guardian Newspaper