The Federal Government has approved the disengagement of 2,525 beneficiaries of the N-Power Programme for absconding from their primary place of assignment. It also warned that acts of dereliction of duty, indolence, absenteeism and indiscipline on the part of volunteers would continue to be dealt with decisively and in line with the rules of engagement.
The N-Power Programme was introduced in 2016 by the President Buhari Administration as a job enhancement scheme aimed at imbibing the learn-work-entrepreneurship culture in Nigerian youth between 18 and 35 for graduates and non-graduates. About 500,000 youth spread across the 774 Local Government Areas of the country are currently enrolled in the programme and have since been deployed to teach in public schools, act as health workers in primary health centres, as agricultural extension advisors to smallholder farmers in the communities and also as community tax liaison officers.
Beneficiaries under the graduate category take home N30,000 monthly for their services. Confirming the development, the Communications Manager, National Social Investment Office, Justice Bibiye said that 18,674 other beneficiaries of the initiative have voluntarily resigned, having secured permanent employment.
He said, “It had earlier come to the notice of the Federal team that some of the N- Power beneficiaries had either absconded from their primary places of assignment or gained permanent employment subsequent to their commencement on the programme.
“ The Federal team has continued to encourage feedback from the states from existing monitors, whistleblowers and members of the public through it’s existing call centre and has acted swiftly by initially placing such beneficiaries on suspension for a period of 45 days .
“Unless such beneficiaries are able to provide proof from their primary place of assignment and the state focal person that they were actually present, or absent with reason, their participation in the programme is terminated after the period of suspension.
“So far, 2,525 beneficiaries have been delisted, following reports garnered from the various avenues, whilst 18,674 have voluntarily resigned, having secured permanent employment.”
He said in a statement that reports from a few states, however, showed that some beneficiaries of the programme are said to have stayed away for long periods of time from their primary places of assignment, adding that this has led to the need for continued action against those who are seen to be undermining the smooth implementation of the Federal Government social intervention initiative.
To ensure seamless execution of the programme in order to achieve the set goals, he said the NSIO has increased the number of monitoring partners.
This, he noted, would help to enhance supervision and the strengthening of monitoring, for effective and efficient service delivery of all components of the NSIPs.
“Beneficiaries must understand that N-Power is not a charity program and therefore, everyone captured under the scheme is expected to justify his /her engagement by demonstrating diligence, hard work and commitment to duty at their PPAs.
“Acts of dereliction of duty, indolence, absenteeism and indiscipline on the part of volunteers shall continue to be dealt with decisively and in line with the rules of engagement, ” he added.
By;Ifeanyi Onuba , Abuja