Nigeria@60: The gloom of N-power Beneficiaries, the death of hope


The beneficiaries of the N-power Program, one of the Social Investment Programs of the President Mohammedu Buhari led administration, expressed huge optimism towards the October 1 Presidential  address as their suffering persisted after their disengagement from laudable Initiative of the Federal Government.

Many of the beneficiaries believed that the President would address the pending issues of their permanent engagement as the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development promised a transitioning into MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies), Federal Government Entrepreneurial Schemes in partnership with CBN, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and private sector liaise.

It has been days turned into weeks and counting in months since the disagengement of the beneficiaries amidst COVID-19 Pandemic, non-payment of outstanding Stipends amounting in Billions to more than 14,000 N-power Beneficiaries for about 5 Months, non-clearance of the outstanding stipends for the months of their disengagement period nor implementation of the exit plan as promised.

Hope died after the Presidential address when there was no mention of N-power Program or the way forward for the teeming youths who had committed at least two years for the growth of Nigeria in the Education, Health and Agricultural Sectors of the Economy in their respective localities, on a payment of 30,000 monthly Stipend, manning the unmanned classrooms, Health Centers, Agricultural  Zones, blocks and circles.

Many of the 500,000 N-power Beneficiaries have taken to their Social groups to pour their hopelessness, use-and-dump perfected strategy and excruciating pain of unfitness in meeting the financial obligation of their families, as many of the beneficiaries are married.

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A report had revealed how two of the N-power Beneficiaries took their own lives days after their disengagement, having foreseen the perilous days ahead and inability to cope.

Many of the N-power Beneficiaries who are mainly from poor background are jobless today, not because they are unskilled or unfit to work but due to the continued decay in our society where a son of a nobody who knows nobody gains nothing than being poorer not minding his/her academic prowess, skill or capability.

The Beneficiaries ask, "What's worth celebrating?" Will they celebrate the 2019 General Election when they have been dropped in hopelessness months after championing the victory that became their undoing?

Or will they now celebrate their youthfulness in heart but weak in joblessness?

Will they celebrate political promises and their inability to become leaders of tomorrow even at their peak age of work-ability but no employment opportunity?  

The N-power beneficiaries had in July taken to the streets of Abuja to protest their sudden disengagement from the life-sustaining program without prior notification, amidst COVID-19 Pandemic, no pre-planned exit strategies, unpaid stipends and impaired future, but attracted little attention that has remained unfulfilled, persistently shattering the hopes of endangered youths.

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