N-Power: FG begins payment of five-month outstanding stipends to 9,066 beneficiaries - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

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Friday, 17 September 2021

N-Power: FG begins payment of five-month outstanding stipends to 9,066 beneficiaries

By NAN



The federal government says it has commenced the payment of outstanding allowances to 9,066 volunteers who participated in batches A and B of the 2016 and 2018 N-Power programmes.


Bashir Alkali, permanent secretary, ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.


Established in 2016, the N-Power scheme is targeted at unemployed graduates who are engaged by the government to receive N30, 000 monthly stipends.


Over 200,000 graduates participated at the inception of the programme.


According to NAN, Alkali said the accounts of 14,021 volunteers were flagged in March 2020 by the federal government payment system, the government integrated financial management information system (GIFMIS), for various reasons.


He listed the reasons to include beneficiaries holding multiple bank accounts and receiving other payments such as salaries and allowances from federal government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) on permanent employment.


Alkali explained that these acts violated regulations guiding the N-Power volunteer programme and could amount to gross misconduct and corruption.


He said the ministry carried out a detailed investigation in collaboration with relevant government MDAs, clearing accounts of 9,066 volunteers for final payment.


“Based on this reality, the five months allowance arrears of these volunteers, totalling N150,000 each is currently being paid. They have started receiving credit alerts today,” Alkali said.


“The allowances of the remaining 4,955 is withheld pending the conclusion of further investigation. Where clear violations of the agreements are established, such violators will be subjected to appropriate sanctions as stipulated by the law.


“Contrary to some insinuations in the public domain, this process is a clear demonstration of the ministry’s resolve to address this unfortunate incidence in a transparent manner for accountability and to forestall its future occurrence.


“As it has consistently maintained, the investigation carried out by the ministry is in the best interest of the country and has the major goal of institutionalising the National Social Investment Programme.”


He said the essence of the investigation was to ensure the programme’s efficient management in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to ensure transparency and accountability in its implementation at all times.


“The ministry regrets the delays experienced in concluding this process, but assures the public that transparency and accountability cannot be compromised in all its activities,” he added.