The federal government yesterday said it cannot afford to roll out N300 billion grant for over 500,000 N-Power (Batch A & B) beneficiaries of the programme who exited recently from the scheme.
The Director (Press) in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Mrs Rhoda Iliya, conveyed the Ministry’s position via a statement obtained, in response to the protest staged by some of the N-Power beneficiaries at the National Assembly complex, Abuja.
“On Thursday 23rd of July 2020, there was a rally at the National Assembly, which later proceeded to the Federal Secretariat Complex. The protesters claimed to be representatives of the Federal Government’s N-Power beneficiaries that are about to be exited. They requested the Federal Government to employ all the 500,000 beneficiaries as well as pay them a grant of N600,000 each.
“The Ministry wishes to state that this demand was not part of the agreement of engagement they signed with the federal government, which clearly stipulated that they will be exited after 2 years.
“Furthermore, the government cannot afford the N300 billion they were asking for as grant.
“It is noteworthy to state that the FGN has expended hundreds of billions to N-Power beneficiaries during the last 4 years and is liaising with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, which is responsible for the payment of their stipends, to ensure that any outstanding legitimate claim is settled.
“The federal government cannot afford to continue to pay the exited N-Power beneficiaries’ stipends indefinitely, more so that the process of engagement of new beneficiaries has already begun.
The Ministry, even though is not a lending agency, is in contact with other Ministry’s, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), such as CBN and NALDA, to see if the exited beneficiaries can key into their empowerment programmes,” Mrs Iliya stated.