N-POWER Beneficiaries Urges EFCC, ICPC To Investigate Humanitarian Minister Over Programme


By Khalid Idris Doya

N-Power beneficiaries have called on Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences commission (ICPC) to conduct investigations into the activities of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

In a petition titled: ‘Petition against the Honorable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in Respect of the disengaged 500,000 N-POWER beneficiaries in batches A and B’ signed by Comrade Bashir Usman Gobir, National Chairman, association of exited N-Power beneficiaries of Nigeria and made available to journalists in Bauchi on Wednesday.

He urged to embark on investigation into the proprietary or otherwise of the untimely sacking of Batches A and B N-Power beneficiaries as well as the non-payment of exit packages for the 500,000 beneficiaries of batches A and B by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development under the leadership of the Minister, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk. 

According to him, the inaccessibility and unavailability of NEXIT portal which was introduced to enable the disengaged batches A and B N-Power beneficiaries access the empowerment programme under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) needs to be investigated.

“I therefore, in line with your statutory mandate, urge the Commission to take appropriate legal measures against any person who may be found wanting in the mismanagement of the N-Power funds, which has caused 500,000 persons untold hardships, deprivations and even deaths,” he wrote.

While giving the background facts about the programme, he stated that the N-Power programme, indeed is one of the laudable programmes initiated by the President Muhammad Buhari led administration with a view to training youths, to acquire vocational skills, thereby, making them self-reliant and by necessary implication, employers of labour, through the establishment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Bashir Usman stated that “It is worthy to further note that in line with the objective of the programme and policy directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, at the exit-point, an N-Power beneficiary is entitled to exited-monetary package and/or capital, which will enable him/her to finally find something that will serve as a final settlement.”

“the burning issues/complaints is that surprisingly and strangely, and contrary to the designed policy statement and directives of Mr. President, when batches A and B’s tenure was purportedly said to have expired sometimes in 2019, before the actual time, there was persistent call and peaceful demonstrations at the FCT – Abuja by the affected N-Power Beneficiaries from across the country over the non-payment of the exit package and absence of an exit plan fund for their disengagement.”

There was also the allegation that the funds of the scheme have been grossly mismanaged by the authorities vested with the management and control of the same.

“Also the unpaid five  months arrears of allowances for 14,000 beneficiaries of batches A and B, respectively; Non-payment of exit package for the exited 500,000 beneficiaries of batches A and B.” 

Also worrisome was NEXIT portal, which was introduced to enable the disengaged batches A and B access the empowerment programme which is no longer accessible and available therefore making it a ruse amongst other breaches and violations of the policies of the programme.

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