Nigeria spends N26billion on N-Power

By Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

About N26 billion has been spent on the N-Power, a programme of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government designed to reduce youth unemployment.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede said this while briefing State House Correspondents on how far the programme has met its set objectives.

“Excluding the month of May which we are just collating, we have expended N26billion or thereabout in terms of payments,” he said.

Mr Imoukhuede said the expected budget for the payment of 200,000 volunteers monthly was about six billion Naira.

According to him, the number of people currently qualified and receiving the N30,000 monthly payment is about 174,000, representing 85% of the registered volunteers.

He said those who could not be paid because they were yet to be physically verified, would be paid the backlog when verified.

Monitoring exercise
“The acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has approved for me to lead the monitoring team to 18 of the 36 states to monitor the implementation of the programme since April,’’
Mr. Imoukuede said.

Three states are selected from each of the six Geo-political zones for the monitoring exercise and the team has concluded visits to the three states of the South-west, the North-east and would be in Kano, North-west this week.

Mr Imoukede stressed “the N-Power programme has transformed the life of the volunteers whom he has interacted with during the monitoring exercise.”

He said people even in the internally displaced persons camps who enrolled into the programme have been able to leave the camps and begun their businesses with the money they were paid through the N-Power programme.

Challenges
Mr. Imoukhuede said some of those selected for the programme had discrepancies in the information they entered when they filled the form.

The discrepancies include those that have to do with their bank verification and those who didn’t have the approved qualifications.

Mercy Chukwudiebere