FG Gives Update on Delayed NPower Payment of Stipends as Beneficiaries Protest
The Federal Government’s NPower Programme, designed to alleviate youth unemployment, has recently come under scrutiny as beneficiaries express mounting frustration over the persistent delay in the disbursement of their monthly stipends. Despite promises to address a 9-month backlog, participants find themselves grappling with financial uncertainty, prompting concerns about the program’s effectiveness.
NPower Beneficiaries’ Voices:
Francisco Noah, a dedicated N-Teach participant from Batch C1, currently serving as a teacher in Nasarawa State, reveals the harsh reality of the delay. Compelled to cease attending to students due to financial constraints exacerbated by transportation costs, Noah paints a vivid picture of the challenges faced by those dependent on timely stipends. His last receipt of payment dates back to November 2022, adding to the growing unease among participants.
Usman Dantala, an Agro sector participant in Batch C2, bemoans a nine-month backlog in stipend payments. Despite assurances of imminent disbursement, Dantala has only received payment for three months since joining the program in October 2022. This narrative underscores the financial strain experienced by beneficiaries awaiting the resolution of their stipend-related challenges.
Government’s Response to NPower Cry:
In response to the growing discontent, Dr. Akindele Egbuwalo, the National Programme Manager of the NPower Scheme, issued a statement reaffirming the government’s commitment to addressing pending issues. Acknowledging the temporary suspension of the program, Egbuwalo emphasizes the prioritization of settling payments for beneficiaries with legitimate claims. The call for understanding and patience underscores the government’s efforts to restore confidence in the N-Power Programme.
Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, played a pivotal role in the temporary suspension of the program, raising questions about the future of stipend disbursements. The minister’s decision adds a layer of uncertainty for beneficiaries eagerly awaiting financial relief.
Background and Objectives:
The N-Power scheme, launched on June 8, 2016, as part of the National Social Investment Programme Agency (N-SIPA), aimed to tackle youth unemployment and enhance social interventions. However, the recent challenges in stipend disbursements have cast a shadow on the program’s ability to fulfill its objectives effectively.
NPower speaks on possible recruitment, pending payments
In a related development, N-Power has pledged to address issues related to stipend delays and hinted at possible recruitments. The official communication channels of the initiative will be used to provide genuine information about pending payments and portal-related challenges. This move is expected to bring clarity to beneficiaries and reaffirm the government’s commitment to the success of the program.
As frustrations among N-Power beneficiaries reach a tipping point, the government’s responsiveness to the challenges will be crucial in determining the program’s impact on youth unemployment. The delays in stipend disbursements not only affect the financial well-being of participants but also raise questions about the overall effectiveness and sustainability of social intervention programs in Nigeria. The coming weeks will undoubtedly shed light on the government’s ability to address concerns and restore confidence in the N-Power Programme.