The Federal Government has announced its commencement of the payment of arrears of stipends for batches A and B of the 2016 and 2018 volunteers of the N-Power programme.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on Friday in Abuja.

The Ministry revealed that the batch payments included the account of 14,021 volunteers flagged in March 2020 by the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) for various reasons, including beneficiaries holding multiple bank accounts and receiving other payments such as salaries and allowances from multiple Federal Government ministries, department and agencies (MDAs) on permanent employment.

They stated that receiving multiple payments violated the N-Power guidelines, leading to accusations of corruption, and added that after an investigation with other MDAs, accounts of 9,066 volunteers were cleared for final payment.

“Based on this reality, the five months allowance arrears of these volunteers, totalling N150,000 each is currently being paid. They have started receiving credit alerts today.

“The allowances of the remaining 4,955 is withheld pending conclusion of further investigation. Where clear violations of the agreements are established, such violators will be subjected to appropriate sanctions as stipulated by the law.

“Contrary to some insinuations in the public domain, this process is a clear demonstration of the ministry’s resolve to address this unfortunate incidence in a transparent manner for accountability and to forestall its future occurrence.

“As it has consistently maintained, the investigation carried out by the ministry is in the best interest of the country and has the major goal of institutionalising the National Social Investment Programme,” they said.

What you should know

Recall Nairametrics reported earlier this year that the Federal Government had announced plans to expand the N-Power programme from the present 500,000 beneficiaries to one million.
This is to ensure job creation and poverty alleviation through Safety Net Programmes to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The N-Power scheme  was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 8, 2016. It was created as a component of the National Social Investment Programme, to provide a structure for large scale and relevant work skills acquisition and development, and to ensure that each participant would learn and practise skills necessary to find or create work.