- Building Social Investment Programme on Failed Promises
- N-Power Social Investment Programme: FG fails Nigerians on November 1 deadline
|“The home-grown school feeding programme, the N-Power programme, the Micro-Credit scheme for market women through BOI begin this month,” @ProfOsinbajo tweeted on October 11, 2016|
When the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government announced this year that his government would set up a programme targeted at recruiting 600,000 unemployed Nigerian graduates and artisans, Nigerians jubilated hoping that, may be, the long awaited messiah has arrived.
But that hope looks far ahead.
The N-Power Social Investment Programme portal through which interested unemployed Nigerian youths could apply was launched.
Since the day of its launch, even when it had not started receiving applications, it began to witness unprecedented traffic from hungry job seeking Nigerians.
When the portal opened for applications formally on June 12, 2016, it received the major traffic among job application portals in Nigeria.
It got to a stage the portal crashed. It crashed severally which made it difficult for applicants to make any significant submissions.
Those who submitted got errors, while others were unable to access the portal until it was redesigned to accommodate the mamooth unemployed young Nigerian youths.
So, how many times has the Federal Government concocted lies about Npower recruitment, commencement and monthly stipend?
Here is the list of 5 glaring lies Federal Government has told Nigerians since it announced its plan to engage more unemployed Nigerian graduates
Npower Lie No. 1: How many Nigerians applied for Npower programme?
Nigerians have had to live with conflicting figures as regards number of applicants.
When the programme launched, Npower Team said the training would start by August, but it failed, rather they extended applications till the end of August, 2016.
The excuse was “to allow other Nigerians to submit their applications” even though the Minister of Labour and Productivity stated that over 800, 000 Nigerians had applied.
In September, 2016, a special aid to the President Buhari declared that Npower programme initiative had received 749, 000 applications as at the close of the online portal on August 31, 2016.
The figure given by the Special Assistant to the President on Social Investment Programme, Mariam Uwais, contradicts the one given by Dr. Chris Ngige of the Labour Ministry.
That sounds a lie, or it’s just a mathematical error?
So, no one can specifically say the actual number of unemployed Nigerian youths who applied for the programme.
Npower Lie No. 2: How active is Npower social media accounts?
Since the inception of the programme, its team opened facebook and twitter accounts. They promised to adequately attend to the enquiries of applicants 24/7. But it turned out to be a lie.
When applications closed on August 31, 2016, the two major social media platforms of N-power initiative programme temporarily went on recession.
No update again. No activity on its account to at least keep the hopes of applicants alive. All questions and enquiries sent to the Npower team got no reply after then.
But it resurrected again on September 12 both on facebook @npowerng and on twitter @npowe_ng to announce that, “By Friday the 16th of September, 2016, there will be a notice as to assessment and selection.”
Was the promised fulfilled?
Npower Lie No. 3: How much will successful Npower volunteer earn as monthly salary?
Nobody knows the take home pay of volunteers.
And you know why?
The officials of the government who are meant to know better issue different statements every time they address the press.
When she spoke about Npower last time, Special Assistant to the President on Social Investment Programme, Mariam Uwais, said “Besides their monthly take home pay estimated at about N23, 000, the selected 500,000 graduates will also get computer devices that will contain information necessary for their specific engagement…”
In what is obviously contradictory, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed said, “the graduands will be receiving a monthly stipend of N30,000 for a period of two years.”
Npower Lie No. 4: Will Npower training commence by November 1, 2016?
Well, we’re already into November 1, and we’ve spent some hours in the month without any update from those guys behind the programme.
As at last check, the last tweets @npower_ng was October 13, 2016 “N-Tech Hardware you are up”
Also, on its facebook timeline, it’s last update was on October 23 at exactly 9:11am, “Assessment Tests will continue till Tuesday October 25, 2016…”
The claim by the FG that Npower will start by November 1, 2016 is FALSE!
“Dear @ProfOsinbajo today is last day of Oct. what is the progress of the recruitment of 200,000 graduates? I await your reply,” @Tutsy22 tweeted
N-Power Lie No. 5: Support Centre Lines are available 24/7
A support centre lines are meant to be available 24hours per day, 7days per week and on and on… That’s exactly what Npower Team promised to do: to make sure that applicants who had difficulties could call any time of the day to have their problems solved.
But that turns out to be another lie, or should we call it incompetence on the part of those agents behind the lines? Most of the Npower support centre lines were unavailable most of the time. It became difficult for applicants who had complaints to call. They had to live with such problem, or they’re forced to leave it for God to solve for them.
During online assessment test, login to portal became extremely difficult. Most of the applicants were unable to gain access to the portal.
The Federal Government should give applicants the privilege to voice their grievances and see how bad those guys behind the Npower performed. More applicants were left frustrated than happy.
It’s understandable that the president can’t be every where. But huge programme like Npower needs monitoring, not just when every minister issue conflicting figures about the programme.
Is it a must to speak when journalist asks you about what you don’t have sound knowledge of, or something which isn’t under your office?
All eyes are on Nigeria, all eyes are on President Buhari-led administration.
For how long Nigerians will be fed with promises which has never change their standard of living is a question we have to battle with till Nigerians begin to feel the presence of change in government positively.
Let the change begins with how they manage information and implementation of programmes and policies.
Any other lies about N-Power which you think it’s not on this list, add your voice to this conversation right here.
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