Ghost Beneficiaries, Withheld Funds Are Reasons For N-Power Suspension – FG

FG Will Modify N-Power, Include More Beneficiaries - Betta Edu

The Federal Government (FG) has presented additional reasons for suspension of the N-Power program on Sunday, alleging that the scheme had ghost beneficiaries and that some of its consultants were currently withholding participant funds.

According to the information gathered, nearly one million Nigerians have lost their jobs as a result of the government’s indefinite suspension of the N-Power program, which was announced on Saturday by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu.

The N-Power scheme was developed by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to alleviate youth unemployment, with beneficiaries receiving a monthly stipend of ₦30,000.

Akindele Egbuwalo, National Programme Manager N-Power, indicated on Sunday that the scheme had ghost workers who should be eliminated, as further reasons for the scheme’s suspension.

Concerning the scheme’s consultants, he commented, “Preliminary findings of our audit have shown that some consultants are holding on to beneficiaries’ funds disbursed to them long ago even when their contract ended in March 2023 without any renewal.

“We condemn this practice and will not tolerate it going forward. Work is ongoing to identify those involved, understand why the payments didn’t get to the final beneficiaries, and recall the funds to pay those owed.

“We appeal to Nigerians to understand the rationale behind the temporary suspension and investigation of the programme as we work to restore the nation’s confidence in the programme and for the new N-Power to serve Nigerians better.

“Things have to be properly done for us to move forward.”

BizWatch Nigeria recalls that the minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation has revealed the plan to modify the N-Power initiative in order to accommodate more beneficiaries and ensure fast stipend payment.

“We will change the modalities so that people will get their delayed stipends, include more people, and relaunch it with a renewed hope concept.

“Nigerians should be assured that all existing empowerment schemes within the National Investment Programme will be restructured to effectively cover more people,” Edu stated.