The N-Power Nationwide Beneficiaries Forum has lauded the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, for her transparent, accountable and propitious handling of the scheme.
In a statement co-signed by President Dr Okwu Audu James and Secretary-General, Comrade Unde Saaember Emmanuel, on Monday, the forum vowed to expose “ungrateful characters attempting to smear the minister’s image”.
Introduced in 2015, N-Power is one of four National Social Investment Program created by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to ensure a more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable populations.
Thousands of Nigerian youths have benefited from the program with job training and education, as well as a monthly stipend of 30,000.
And the scheme appears to have been taken to an all-new height since Hajiya Farouq was appointed minister last year with a well-packaged transition plan into entrepreneurship.
However, the entire exercise is already being endangered by some groups.
According to the N-Power Forum, these persons “are not beneficiaries as they appear more like hirelings that were recruited with the objective of maligning the government.”
The group reasoned that anyone against the transition plan of the government is only lazy and addicted to freebies.
The N-Power beneficiaries expressed gratitude to President Buhari and Hajiya Farouq, first for the programme, which they said has improved their lives and the transition plan.
The forum said it is aware of clandestine moves by some disgruntled elements to infiltrate the laudable initiative of Mr President, sponsoring veiled and dubious propaganda against the minister.
It, however, dissociated itself from such selfish and self-serving individuals, urging for caution for anyone transacting business in the name of N- Power.
Read full statement below:
Our attention has been drawn to a threat issued in the form of a statement by persons that called themselves ‘36 States N-Power Representatives Forum’, a body not known to law and neither known to the hundreds of thousands N-Power beneficiaries. It is curious that the people behind the said statement neglected to properly identify themselves and merely signed a statement discussing a matter of such magnitude with the words “Best Regards”.
The blackmail in the said statement included the threat to report the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq to President Muhammadu Buhari over the disengagement of beneficiaries of the N-Power programme as directed by the Federal Executive Council. These individuals went further to imply that they will cause mayhem by embarking on nationwide protests if their blackmailing demands are not met.
N- Power Nationwide Beneficiaries Forum want to categorically state that those behind these threats are not beneficiaries as they appear more like hirelings that were recruited with the objective of maligning the government. Anyone that has benefitted from the scheme for these past few years will not go around with such misplaced sense of entitlement but will rather be appreciative of the gift of being kept out of the pangs of poverty for the duration of the programme.
It is well known among beneficiaries that those of us that have enjoyed the scheme is to be transitioned into government entrepreneurship programmes. This is a thing of joy for us because it means the government has given us the chance to expand our income and also become employers of labour as opposed to being dependent on handouts under a system that we all know is not sustainable. It is therefore absurd that anyone will be kicking against such a golden opportunity at becoming self-made, which gave us the impression that only lazy persons that are addicted to freebies would insist on remaining beneficiaries of a programme, whose monthly stipend has no prospect of ever-increasing.
We are also pressed to correct the impression created by this rouge group that N-Power beneficiaries are partisan, through the allusion that beneficiaries made President Buhari’s re-election possible. It is one thing to acknowledge that Nigerians who were impressed about how Mr President’s programmes and massively voted for him and it is another thing to imply that N-Power beneficiaries are political thugs, which is an unacceptable insult to the hundreds of thousands of apolitical Nigerian youth benefitting from this laudable programme.
N- Power Nationwide Beneficiaries Forum is pained that some people can come up with such sickening position that failed to properly understand that the economic pressure exerted by the COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for the decision to transit beneficiaries to entrepreneurship programmes. This in itself is an ingenious solution to a problem that would have stymied any other government, so the incumbent government should rather be acknowledged for its responsive thinking.
We appreciate President Buhari, first for the N-Power programme, which many of us have used to improve on our lives and improve the lots of our families and for creating the transition arrangement, which will ensure that the diligent ones among beneficiaries will go places. We equally salute the transparency, which the Honourable Minister introduced into the system to usher in greater accountability and probity that made it possible for more Nigerians to be brought on board.
Our forum is aware of clandestine moves by some disgruntled elements to infiltrate the laudable initiative of Mr President. This they are doing by sponsoring veiled and dubious propaganda against reforms and efforts to reposition the scheme. We consequently dissociate N-Power beneficiaries from such selfish and self-serving individuals while urging for caution for anyone transacting business in the name of N- Power as many miscreants are out to ruin the gains so far made by the scheme. Mr President has our vote of confidence in his administration and the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq.