Presidential Aide on Job Creation, Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede has warned that the Federal Government’s job intervention programme, N-Power, is not a cake sharing scheme.
He said volunteers who have disengaged with the scheme after gaining another employment elsewhere but who still collect stipends from the scheme should desist from such act and be patriotic enough to take a cue from former volunteer, Daniel Joshua of Taraba state, who returned N60,000 to the Federal Government last week.
Recall that Joshua made news when he refunded two months of stipends he was paid by the job creation scheme after he duly resigned after getting a new job with another federal government agency.
His act of truthfulness and patriotism gained N300,000 courtesy of Nigerians who paid him for his honesty.
Imoukhuede gave the advise when he addressed N-Power volunteers in Akwa Ibom at the state secretariat complex on Wednesday.
He remarked that those who thought that N-Power was an opportunity to defraud the federal government or to get their own part of the national cake should drop such wrong ideas.
“N-Power is not cake sharing scheme as there is no cake to be shared.
“If you have another job that conflicts with this full time volunteer community programme, you have to decide today which one to take and the one to drop.
“You must emulate Joshua’s kind of honour,’’ he advised.
Imoukhuede informed the volunteers that the direct payment of stipends to them conferred a lot of responsibilities on the beneficiaries.
He said that volunteers who remained diligent in the work would find fulfillment in the programme.
He added that chronic truants would be fished out, dismissed and be forced to return all stipends paid to them, adding that such persons will be prosecuted.
“We are convinced that the 774 local government areas and 36 states and FCT are benefitting from the N-Power scheme.
“Every Nigerian is a stakeholder in N-Power and like the Acting President said on May 29th anniversary, the employment scheme is not a favour but the right of the youths,’’ said the presidential aide.
He said that government was aware of the unemployment challenges facing the youths, adding that the volunteer scheme is one of many ways the federal government planned to address the challenges.
“This scheme is real and working,’’ he said, and advised graduates seeking for employment to utilise the ongoing application to be empowered.
He assured that every skill that would enhance the employability of the youths would be imparted to them with loads of materials in the scheme’s portal.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Economic Development, Labour and Manpower Planning, Mr. Idorenyin Udo, advised the volunteers to be level headed and obey their supervisors because “out of this little, great things can come”.
According to him, “this programme is real and the 3,040 of you that are in the scheme in our state are not a rented party crowd.
“This is an opportunity that has been given to us by President Muhammadu Buhari and no one knows the intention of the Federal Government at the end of the two years.
“This is why your commitment is needed so that such benefits will not be lost,’’ he said.
The commissioner assured that the state was gaining experience in the programme and would address all the challenges facing the participants.