Posted by News Express | 24 July 2020 | 1,405 times
By KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja
Federal Government on Friday says it cannot afford to roll out N300 billion grant for over 500,000 N-Power (Batch A & B) beneficiaries of the N-Power who exited recently from the scheme.
The Director (Press) in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Mrs Rhoda Iliya, conveyed the Ministry’s position via a statement obtained by Tribune Online, in response to the protest staged by some of the N-Power beneficiaries at the National Assembly complex, Abuja.
She observed: “On Thursday 23rd of July 2020, a rally at the National Assembly which later proceeded to the Federal Secretariat Complex.
“The protesters claimed to be representatives of the Federal Government’s N-Power beneficiaries that are about to be exited.
“They requested the Federal Government to employ all the 500,000 beneficiaries as well as pay them a grant of N600,000 each.
“The Ministry wishes to state that this demand was not part of the agreement of engagement they signed with the Federal Government, which clearly stipulated that they will be exited after 2 years.
“Furthermore, the government cannot afford the N300 billion they were asking for a grant.
“It is noteworthy to state that the FGN has expended hundreds of billions to N-Power beneficiaries during the last 4 years and is liaising with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, which is responsible for the payment of their stipends, to ensure that any outstanding legitimate claim is settled.
“The Federal Government cannot afford to continue to pay the exited N-Power beneficiaries stipends indefinitely, more so that the process of engagement of new beneficiaries has already begun.
The Ministry even though is not a lending agency, is in contact with other Ministry’s, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) such as CBN and NALDA, to see if the exited beneficiaries can key into their empowerment programmes,” Mrs Iliya stated.
In a related development, the Ministry raised alarm over the fraudulent practice of 14,020 N-Power beneficiaries whose account details were found in other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The complaint of non-payment of some N-Power beneficiaries during the last exercise, with some alleging non-payment for upward of four months.
“For the records, the Ministry wishes to state that it had always processed, approved and remit necessary information for payments to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (oAGF) whose responsibility it is to credit the various accounts of the beneficiaries using the GIFMIS platform as directed by FGN.
“However, after receiving a complaint of non-payment by some beneficiaries who did same through the ministry, the OAGF (GIFMIS) officially wrote informing the ministry that out of a total of 516,600 N-Power beneficiaries data sent to OAGF for migration in April 2020, only a total of 502,580 data have successfully migrated to the GIFMIS platform, while a total of 14,020 beneficiaries were returned because the beneficiaries’ account details already exist in other MDAs, which is against the established rule of the N-Power Programme. This is verifiable.
“The Honourable Minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq, regrets any inconvenience this might have caused genuine and eligible beneficiaries just as the OAGF saddled with the responsibility of filtering out those denied is working assiduously to remedy the situation.” (Nigerian Tribune)
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