N-power Batch C2 Beneficiaries Threaten To Embark On Strike Over Non Payment of Stipend – Beneficiaries of the N-Power Batch C2 have threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over the non-payment of their allowances for three months.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to SaharaReporters urged the Nigerian government to pay their stipends to enable them to buy food for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
“It is shameful and extremely painful our government has held on to our three months stipends without any explanation whatsoever.
“First of all, the N-Power batch C2 beneficiaries were deployed in September but we were asked to resume at our place of primary assignment (PPA) on the 4th of October which we did, and since then, nothing has been done about our stipends. Meanwhile, we applied for the empowerment programme in 2020. After so much delay, we were deployed two years after and still no payment.
“We are suffering and there are speculations that the minister said she has paid all the beneficiaries and does not owe anyone,” one of them told SaharaReporters.
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 the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly fraudulently 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 have been using cronies to siphon funds under the social intervention programmes.
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