Batch A and B Transition is a Scam - N-power Volunteers insist

The Beneficiaries of the N-power program have expressed deep dissatisfaction over the shady transition plan for the exiting batch A and B N-power Beneficiaries by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

The volunteers while stating reasons for their long stay in the program noted that the Batch A program which was supposed to end in 2018 was extended on an ‘enhancement’ as plans of exiting them were not concluded by the Federal Government at that time.

The Beneficiaries of the N-power program furthered that another reason for extension of the program came during the preparation of the 2019 General election when the Federal Government made a promise of continuity upon re-electing President Mohammadu Buhari as the volunteers turned vanguards of the 4+4 agenda.

They added that the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo had in several of his speeches assured the trained volunteers that it would be a waste of National resources sending them back to the streets at the end of their programs as the Federal Government was not intending for such a fruitless end.

The N-power program which was designed to train and position unemployed Nigerian graduates in line with President Mohammadu Buhari benevolent decision of lifting 1million Nigerians out of poverty, had a huge sum of 500,000 beneficiaries carefully selected across the 774 LGAs of the Federation, and were manning the unmanned Classrooms, Health Centers and Agricultural Zones, Blocks and Circles in the Country on a monthly Stipend of N30,000.

According to the N-power beneficiaries, a twist of the program started in October 2019 when the National Social Investment Program was moved from the Office of the Vice President to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, where they were owed for 3 months before receiving their monthly stipends on the claim of data transfer and account reconciliation processes.

The Beneficiaries noted that the situation deepened when the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umah Farouk engaged Mrs Maryam Uwais, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, on a query why the Batch A Beneficiaries were still in the Program.

Reacting to the query, Mrs Uwais noted that the exit plan for the Batch A Beneficiaries have not been concluded as they were in talks with the Government and the Private sectors on how to engage the beneficiaries as part of the core design of the program.

Upon reaching agreement to disengage the beneficiaries when an exit plan has been concluded, the Batch A Beneficiaries stayed in the program until 19th June, 2020 when the Ministry suddenly announced the exit of both Batch A and B of the N-power program, having planned to recruit fresh 400,000 volunteers.

The Beneficiaries while expressing a deep despair noted that the Transition plans by the Ministry for the exiting beneficiaries set to commence on the 30th of June for Batch A and 31st July for Batch B, has remained a mirage as the Minister has only stated that the plan would be communicated to them in weeks to come through her farewell address yesterday, to the outgoing beneficiaries.

The Minister had warned the outgoing Beneficiaries not to apply for the Batch C N-power program while insisting they wait for their transition that would be communicated to them in no stated time and no clear definitive destination of engagement.

The Beneficiaries lamented on how they spent their Stipend on feeding and transportation as the program demands going to work everyday or stand being exited for truancy, emphasising that the Minister’s data of 109,823 beneficiaries starting a successful business from their monthly Stipends is questionable.

They furthered that at a time the Handlers of the N-power program promised a Million Naira for a best N-power Success Story, the beneficiaries being enticed by the huge amount, declared non-existent achievements, noting that such achievements would have been possible if they were paid without being policed to work on daily bases.

The Beneficiaries who spoke on how more than 5,000 beneficiaries were exited from the N-power program for absconding from their places of assignment emphasised that it would have been more profitable if they were trained for about 3-6 months and pushed  to entrepreneurship with a whole sum equivalent to N30,000 in 2years other than tossing them around on a monthly Stipend being expended mostly on transportation, daily feeding and barely nothing for the parents that carted for their education.

Meanwhile, well meaning Nigerians have criticised the move by the Ministry of Humanitarian, Disaster Management and Social Development to disengage the beneficiaries at a perilous time COVID-19 pandemic has taken a down turn on the economies of the world with little or no opportunity available, and with nothing to fall back on.

Nigerians are of the opinion that it would be more disastrous for Nigeria as Nation to lead on this path when the Federal Government has declared this era as a dangerous time for retrenching workers or relieving workers of their means of livelihood, noting that it would increase social vices and likely to lead to death as result of psychological traumas among the exited beneficiaries.

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