The decision to change the collection centre followed a demonstration by the volunteers and an insider report by NpowerNG Solutions, a dedicated N-power blog, where it’s alleged that some staff members of the telecommunication were collecting between N500 to N1,000 from volunteers who were scheduled to collect their device from the branch office of the telecom office, Osogbo.
NpowerNG Solutions quoted a latest text message sent to the affected volunteers thus:
Dear volunteer, your device is ready for pick up. Be at Mosab Mega Hall, Ring road, Opposite NASFAT centre, Osogbo 9am- 4pm on 09/11/2017. Kindly come with your B.V.N slip, valid ID card, your pickup SMS and a pen. Please be punctual.
The last report by the blog is entitled: Osun Npower Device Collection: Inside MTN Office, Osogbo where Volunteers are Forced to Pay N1,000 for Tablet Collection
The reports reads:
N-power Device Collection which was meant to be free nationwide has turned to an avenue for MTN Osogbo Branch to extort money from volunteers who were texted to pick up their device.
No official has responded to this allegation, but the staff said there was insufficient sim cards at the branch office.
MTN is one of the partners of government’s job initiative program N-power.
A volunteer in Osogbo who’s scheduled to pick up his device invited N-power Solutions to witness the bribery charades systematically perpetrated at MTN Office on October 31, 2017.
His invite SMS reads:
“Dear volunteer, your device is ready for pick up. Be at Plot 456 Dada Estate Iwo Road By Fan Milk Oshogbo 9am- 12pm on 31/10/2017. Kindly come with your B.V.N slip, valid ID card, your pickup SMS and a pen. Please be punctual.”
On Tuesday at the collection point volunteers came from different parts of the state, particularly those who selected Techno Droid and N-power Brian Tablets had Mtn office as their collection centre.
A volunteer who spoke to NpowerNG Solutions said he came from Owena Ijesha, a boundary town between Osun and Ondo State.
The man who doesn’t want to be named said he arrived Osogbo on October 30, hoping to be at the collection point as early as possible unfortunately met Some volunteers there earlier before him who claimed to have slept the place with the aim of being the first beneficiary.
A list given to volunteers to write their names had at least 400 names as early as 7:00am.
The list was supposed to assist Mtn staff to make the collection achieve some orderliness, but bribery later made it rowdy.
HOW MTN STAFF CARRIED OUT THE FRAUD
There were close to three agents on ground approaching volunteers who could part with between N500-N1,000 to quicken their device collection.
When this is done, the agent would collect the volunteer’s BVN slip and go right inside the Mtn office to get the bvn verified and later give it out secretly to the volunteer to go inside to pick his/her device.
Most of those who enjoyed this were those who came between 8:30am-12pm and were ready to jump the arrangements on ground through bribery.
Policemen on ground were also culpable as they free freely go inside the mtn office with bvn slips several times unhindered.
A Peace Corps Officer who openly condemned the act was “sidelined” in other activities.
Even when soft drink was offered other security personnel on ground he was denied to enjoy from the largesse.
On Tuesday (Last week) the situation nearly degenerated into chaos as those who queued saw late comers and those who could bribe their way in collect device before them.
The entrance gate of the telecommunications firm was partly affected due to forceful push and anger from aggrieved volunteers.
The branch manager who was meant to address the mammoth crowd of Npower volunteers failed to do as he sent his co-workers to inform volunteers that there’s no SIM cards on ground to configure the devices, that was around 3pm on Tuesday, and by 6pm some volunteers went inside to collect their device jumping the queue.
A volunteer from Ife bribed his way in to pick his device.
He said bribery and corruption has become a culture.
He said he had been coming for close to two weeks until be bribed and had his tablet given to him. He’s a graduate of Statistics from Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti 2008/2009.
A volunteer who simply identified herself as Bisi said she had been coming to the centre October 24, 2017 from Ijeda-Ijesa, Oriade Local Government of the state, but couldn’t collect as at November 6,2017.
Mtn cited insufficient sim as an excuse. There was enough Sim cards when you’re ready to pay N1000. No sim if you’re no-bribe campaigner.
On October 6, Some female volunteers shed tears because of the the terrible ordeal they are passing through since the day they had been scheduled to pick up their device.
WHAT’S THE VALUE OF THE DEVICE? Presently 8 different brands of devices are being given FREE to the first batch of volunteers.
The cheapest costs between N65,000-N70,000 WHILE the most expensive cost between N70,000-N90,000.
IS THE SITUATION THE SAME IN OTHER PICK UP CENTRES IN OSUN?
No, a volunteer who picked up His Samsung Tab at Ilesa said there were 80volunteers the day he went and were all attended to before 5pm.
It was orderly as they’re attended to as their names appeared on the attendance list.
At Ile-Ife, a volunteer who picked his AfriOne-2-1 Transformer Tablet said it was orderly saying he collected His less than 3hours he got to the centre.