One Million Jobs At Risk As Tinubu Suspends N-Power And Begins Investigation

One Million Jobs at Risk as Tinubu Suspends N-Power and Begins Investigation

 The Federal Government of Nigeria’s suspension of the N-Power program has put over one million jobs at risk. Explore the reasons behind this decision and the impact on beneficiaries and youth employment.

One Million Jobs at Risk as Tinubu Suspends N-Power and Begins Investigation

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the suspension of the N-Power program, a move that has put over one million jobs at risk. This program, which was initiated during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari, aimed to address youth unemployment by providing a monthly stipend of N30,000 to beneficiaries. However, recent irregularities have led to this drastic decision.

Background on N-Power

The N-Power program was a vital component of the National Social Investment Programme, created to tackle the issue of youth unemployment in Nigeria. It targeted unemployed Nigerian youths, primarily graduates, offering them opportunities for capacity-building, targeted employment, and structured career development.

As of February this year, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs in Abuja reported that the program had successfully enrolled 200,000 youths in Batch A, 300,000 in Batch B, 510,000 in Batch C1, and 490,000 in Batch C2. While the exact number of beneficiaries who have left the program is not confirmed, almost all enrollees in batches C1 and C2, roughly one million people, were still part of the program.

Many N-Power beneficiaries worked as teachers in primary schools across Nigeria, making a significant impact in the education sector. However, the Federal Government’s recent decision to indefinitely suspend the program has raised concerns about the fate of these individuals and the impact on the education system.

Reasons for Suspension

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, made the announcement during a live interview on TVC News. She revealed that the N-Power program had been plagued by several issues, including beneficiaries not being present at their assigned locations while still receiving stipends. Some beneficiaries were supposed to have exited the program in 2022 but remained on the payroll.

Edu emphasized the need for a thorough investigation into the program’s operations, stating, “We need to check N-Power and find out its problems. So, we’re stopping the program for now while we investigate how the money for N-Power was used. We want to know how many people are basically on the program right now, how many people are owed, and the amount they are owed. We are totally restructuring N-Power and expanding it.”

She pointed out a concerning trend, stating, “About 80 percent of them are not working, yet they are claiming salaries. They’re not doing their jobs, yet they keep saying they should be paid for eight or nine months.”

Previous Investigations

This is not the first time the N-Power program has faced scrutiny. In December 2022, the Humanitarian Ministry responded to concerns regarding fraud allegations within the program. The ministry assured the public that they had a robust system for selecting program participants and had reported suspected financial irregularities to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) for investigation.

The ministry had also taken steps to strengthen its systems to prevent anomalies and similar occurrences in the future. They emphasized their commitment to transparency and accountability in implementing the N-Power and other National Social Investment Programs.

What Lies Ahead for N-Power Beneficiaries

The suspension of the N-Power program has placed beneficiaries at risk, leaving them uncertain about their financial security and future employment prospects. While the investigation proceeds, many are left wondering about the fate of their jobs and livelihoods.

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs has urged program beneficiaries to continue their work diligently, assuring them that monthly stipends will be paid as expected. Additionally, they have encouraged the public to report any irregularities in the implementation of the National Social Investment program through provided email channels and phone numbers.

As Nigeria navigates this critical phase in the N-Power program, the government’s commitment to transparency and accountability will be essential to address the irregularities and, hopefully, protect the jobs of the program’s beneficiaries.

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