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New N-Power Will create 5 million jobs, says FG

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, has said the Federal Government has set a target of five million jobs for youths in…

Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, has said the Federal Government has set a target of five million jobs for youths in five years through the N-Power scheme.

Edu, who last week announced the suspension of the programme, stated this during an interview with Channels TV.

She said the plan is to create a million jobs each year as a way of revamping the suspended N-Power programme.

According to her, the government is reviewing the programme to “restore confidence in it.”

She added that the suspension was a result of some irregularities observed within the scheme, noting that an investigation has been launched into how funds were expended since the beginning of the programme.

“This action (suspension) has become necessary to give room for a detailed investigation into the operations of the N-Power in the last 12 months.”

“The total number of persons enrolled on N-Power since inception to date is 960,000. Most of them have exited from N-Power 1.0 and NPower 2.0 batches A and B.

“There is a need to audit the number of people in the programme, those who have exited the programme, those who are being owed, whether they reported to work or not and how funds have been utilized over this period of time.

“Recently, we discovered instances of programme beneficiaries whose participation has lapsed since 2022 but have remained on and continue to expect payments from the government.

“In addition, some beneficiaries must honour their obligation to the programme: They do not report to their places of primary assignments as required but still receive monthly payments.

“Some have other jobs and have left this bracket but are still benefiting from the payments, while those who truly worked are not paid. These instances have made the need for a thorough audit imperative, as we also look into claims of those being owed for up to eight to nine months’ stipends to ascertain the veracity of their claims.

“The graduates and non-graduate volunteers Batch C1 & C2 are in this category. We want to establish the exact number of people owed and the total amounts, thereby eliminating ghost beneficiaries.

“Preliminary findings of our audit have shown that some consultants are holding on to beneficiaries’ funds disbursed to them long ago even when their contract ended in March 2023 without any renewal.”

Edu also said the restructuring of the N-Power will birth an expanded programme to reach 5 million beneficiaries aged 18 to 40, unlike the previous age limit that was 35.

“This restructuring and transformation will also birth an expanded programme to reach beneficiaries aged 18-40 (the previous age limit was 35).

“We are targeting 5 million beneficiaries in 5 years at a pace of 1 million per year under the graduate and non-graduate stream.

“To earn the confidence of Nigerians in the expanded programme, transparency and accountability will be the benchmark. It shall no longer be business as usual as we make concerted efforts to put the nation on the right footing, ensuring that no one directly or indirectly unleashes suffering on Nigerians,” she said.

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