The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, has explained the Nigerian government’s indefinite suspension of the N-Power program. The decision to suspend the program was attributed to several irregularities within the scheme, which necessitated a thorough audit and restructuring.
In a statement issued on her behalf by the National Programme Manager of N-Power, Dr Akindele Egbuwalo, Minister Betta Edu highlighted the key reasons behind the suspension.
Audit and Investigation: The government initiated the suspension to conduct a comprehensive audit of the N-Power program. This audit aims to assess the number of participants, identify beneficiaries who have exited the program, examine the utilization of funds, and address irregularities that have surfaced over the past year.
Beneficiary Irregularities: Some beneficiaries were found to be absent from their assigned duty stations but still expected to receive monthly stipends. Additionally, confident individuals who should have completed their tenure in the program remained on the payroll.
Consultant Accountability: The Minister pointed out that some consultants retained funds for beneficiaries even after their contracts expired in March 2023. This practice of withholding funds without renewing contracts was strongly condemned.
Age Limit Review: The government plans to raise the upper age limit for N-Power beneficiaries from 35 to 40 years to accommodate a broader age group.
Minister Betta Edu Provides Updates on the Suspension of N-Power Program
Minister Betta Edu emphasized that the suspension was necessary to ensure transparency, eliminate irregularities, and restore confidence in the N-Power program. She urged Nigerians to understand the rationale behind this decision and assured beneficiaries with genuine claims that their issues would be resolved as part of the verification process.
The government aims to transform and expand the N-Power program to benefit a broader range of individuals aged 18-40 to reach five million beneficiaries across various sectors over the next five years.
The Minister’s statement reflected the government’s commitment to upholding accountability and improving the N-Power program for the betterment of Nigerians.
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