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The job initiative programme of Nigeria’s government N-power isn’t a fluke, even though it has its downs.
It kicked started in December 2016 officially as the first batch of the programme received their first N30,000 monthly salary.
None of the volunteers thought it was real until they got the first stipend, even though they were yet to resume at their place of primary assignment at the time of receipt.
The job programme was targeted at 500,000 Nigerian graduates, who were unemployed. It was divided into two batches; first batch was 200,000 youths, while the second is expected to be 300,000.
The names of the 300,000 second batch applicants, who were screened in 2017, were yet to be released ,though.
The 200,000 first batch each receives 30,000 Nigerian Naira as monthly salary. If that is multiplied, it means the Federal Government has been allocation N6,000,000,000 for the successful beneficiaries.
This is apart from market value of highly sophisticated tablet devices given to the volunteers.
The following devices were made available: Samsung Pad, Techno Pad, AfriOne 2-in-transformer etc
N-power programme is part of President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressive Congress (APC) government .
The party dismantled structure of the former ruling party because of its promise to empower the youths ,who have been neglected for a long time, and for his resolve to fight corruption.
While the 6Billion Nigerian Naira may be the official monthly allocation specifically for beneficiaries’ payment, it’s known that not all volunteers received the monthly salary.
Some are yet to get any at this moment.
The fault is not largely on the N-power team. When N-power job registration portal opened in 2016, some applicants who never had faith in the initiative gave their data to cybercafe attendant to handle registration for them.
In the process, some had wrong details entered for them. This range from wrong names, wrong bank account details, wrong BVN, and other avoidable mistakes.
We have also found out that some input the banking details of their parent, which led to withholding of their monthly stipend.
Some married applicants had similar problem.
But the management of the initiative through the Senior Special Assistant to the president on Job Creation, Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede, through 2017 took it upon himself to release details of those whose payment errors had been corrected, and were to be paid.
A volunteer in Akwa Ibom State told infobase how elated he was when he received seven months of unpaid salaries the same day.
What does this mean?
It means that N-power team is regularly working to treat complaints of unpaid stipends and backlogs. The team deserves kudos for that.
However, some beneficiaries have also complained that their complaints are yet to be attended to, even after sending several complaints to N-power Headquarters in Abuja.
Our final thoughts:
N-power monthly stipend has been effectively been used by some prudent volunteers to start small business of their own.
But they are mostly, who has other business on the side, or who are getting assistance from relatives, giving them the opportunity to have savings from N-power salary.
Nigerian government deserves kudos for the youth empowerment idea, but we hope that the government do more in terms of empowerment which will be in a long term.
N-power is a 2-year programme,which literarily means the large number of the current engaged youths may go back to the labour market.
Government needs to do more!
Are you still having issue of unpaid stipend? Share with us. Or contact N-power support centre on the major social media.