Humanitarian Minister Bows To Pressure-Commences Sketchy Payment Of Stipends to NPower Volunteers

The Honourable Minister currently manning the Federal Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq has finally bowed to pressure from volunteers over the prolonged delay of their monthly stipends, as she has directed the commencement of payment of all outstanding stipends owed volunteers for the month of March and April.

Although as at the time of filing this report, more than 80% of the volunteers have not received their stipends but hopefully the payment will continue into Sunday 24th May, 2019.

Payment for N-Power beneficiaries has been moved from the NIBSS (Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System) to the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platform, the scheme confirmed.

It was gathered that the GIFMIS payment platform is an IT-based system for budget management and accounting that is being implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria to improve Public Expenditure Management processes, enhance greater accountability and transparency across Ministries and Agencies.

GIFMIS is designed to make use of modern information and communication technologies to help the Government of Nigeria to plan and use its financial resources more efficiently and effectively.

The famed N-Power scheme, which is now managed by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, was introduced in 2016 by the Muhammadu Buhari administration “to imbibe the entrepreneurship culture in the Nigerian youth aged between 18 and 35 — both graduates and non-graduates”.

An estimated 500,000 graduate youths (Batch A and Batch B) across the country are currently engaged in the scheme, providing services in the country’s education, health, agriculture sectors, and local government offices with a monthly N30,000 stipend.

Enrollees under the N-Power programme have started receiving their April stipends since 9am this morning being the last working day of the week.

N-Power is one of the National Social Investment Programmes (SIP) designed by the present administration to reduce poverty, unemployment and social insecurity among Nigerians.

It involves the deployment of thousands of unemployed graduates to schools and other institutions to work there while the government pays the volunteers a stipend of N30,000 monthly.

The enrollees have been clamouring for their April payment since the announcement of the lockdown in some states due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms Farouq, while responding to questions at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing last Friday, said the payment process has reached the final stage.

“It is in the final stage of payment and by early next week, they will get their payment, Insha Allah.” These were her words but it turned out that she is the type that does not keep to her words as the delay in payment worsens since the programme wqas moved from office of the Vice President to this new Ministry headed by Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq.

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