To pay backlog of stipends as Batch C begins
By Joseph Erunke
THE federal government has said a total of 500,000 Nigerians have benefited so far in the N-Power scheme just as it confirmed that enrolment for Batch C beneficiaries began yesterday, Friday, June 26, 2020, at 11.45 pm.
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, which said this in a statement Saturday night by its Deputy Director of Press, Rhoda Iliya, gave the breakdown as 200,000 beneficiaries in Batch A while 300,000 in Batch B.
Recall that Batch A started in September 2016 while Batch B kicked off in August 2018.
“The programme has enrolled 500,000 beneficiaries thus far – 200,000 from Batch A which started in September 2016 and 300,000 from Batch B which kicked off in August 2018,” the statement said.
It explained that beneficiaries were “supposed to spend 24 months on the programme and were spread across the key industries targeted by the program – Agriculture, Health, Education, and Tax.”
“The enrolment of a new batch of beneficiaries is a sequel to far-reaching consultations and a review of the submissions on the reform and realignment of the programme for greater efficiency,” said, adding that: “This batch will focus on N-Teach; N-Health; N-Agro as well as N-Build, N-Creative and N-Tech.”
“Under the guidelines provided by the programme, N-Teach & N-Health are open only to graduates while graduates and non-graduates are eligible to apply to N-Agro as well as N- Build, N-Creative and N-Tech,” it stressed.
A statement by the minister, Sadiya Umar Farouq noted that “by enrolling a new Batch, the N-Power programme (a key component of the National Social Investment Programme) is providing opportunities for more Nigerian youths to gain skills for employability and entrepreneurship. It is also providing a pipeline of skilled Nigerians to help rebuild the economy post-COVID 19.”
It read further: “Batches A and B beneficiaries will commence the transitioning process on June 30 & July 31 respectively into entrepreneurship or employment for those beneficiaries who pass the psychometric tests to make way for Batch C. Past beneficiaries are not eligible to participate in the application process for Batch-C.
“All eligible Nigerians aged 18-35 would be given an opportunity to participate in Batch-C which will use a transparent and hybrid system which leverages technology as well as traditional means of enrolment while prioritizing women and people living with disabilities because PLWD makes up 15 per cent of our population.
“Applicants are encouraged to have the following as they log in to apply – BVN Number, current passport photograph (jpeg or png); email address and academic certification/certificate.
“The planned transition and exit, as well as the commencement of enrolment of Batch C, was announced on Friday, June 19, 2020. The announcement has generated a lot of interest in the traditional and social media spaces.
“In the statement announcing the Ministry’s plans to streamline the programme for efficiency, the Ministry had noted that ”comprehensive details for the new batch C will be announced in the coming weeks.”
“In fulfilment of that promise the Ministry has now addressed some of the key issues.
“As per the programme design, N-Power beneficiaries are not to be absorbed into the civil service. They will be transitioned into employment for those who pass the psychometric tests while others would become employers of labour. The Ministry is currently engaging with government counterparts and the private sector to absorb beneficiaries who meet the criteria.
“Regarding N-Power beneficiaries who are yet to receive their March, April and May stipends, the Ministry noted that their stipends are undergoing administrative processing in the office of the Accountant General.
“The Ministry is aware that Batch B beneficiaries have not received the tablet device, however, the prevailing economic exigencies exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic has made this untenable. This is regretted.
“The N-Power Programme was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) with the mandate of lifting citizens out of poverty through capacity building, investment, and direct support. This effort also contributes to the administration’s vision of lifting 100 million people out of poverty by creating opportunities to enhance the productivity of the Nigerian youth.”