N-POWER: Minister reaffirms commitment to pay stipends

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By Chimezie Godfrey

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, has reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to ensure that all beneficiaries of social investment programmes, access interventions designed for them within the stipulated guidelines.

Farouq gave this assurance on Monday in Abuja at a press briefing in response to none payment of stipends to N-power beneficiaries.

She pointed out that the N-Power initiative is one of the four clusters of national social investment programmes that were designed to stem the growing tide of poverty, unemployment and social insecurity in Nigeria. 

She added that the N-Power is the job creation and economic empowerment component of the NSIP for young unemployed Nigerians.

“With regards to recent agitations and outcry against the non-payments of October and November, 2019 stipends to N-Power beneficiaries, the ministry wishes to reaffirm its commitment to ensuring that beneficiaries of all the Social Investment Programmes access interventions designed for them within the stipulated guidelines.   

“Inform that the Home Grown Feeding Programme, which is also a cluster of the NSIP has continued to run smoothly since its transfer to the Ministry. Except for the four states that were submitted during my absence and this has already been treated,” she said.

She disclosed that there are information gaps with regards to the monitoring and evaluation mechanism and framework of the N–Power and the GEEP programmes. 

She said while some officials of NSIP are of the view that the programmes should be completely restructured, the ministry is currently engaging the NSIP Cluster Heads for clarifications, among other things.

The Minister assured all N- Power beneficiaries and Nigerians of the Ministry’s commitment to Mr President’s promise to stem poverty in the country as well as lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“This is a clarion call we must all answer for the sake of our fatherland. This present glitch needs addressing if we are to commence the assignment at hand with the required traction. 

“In this regard, the Ministry also wishes to assure all beneficiaries that all arrears will be paid as soon as the handing and taking processes are concluded and the grey areas are addressed. 

“There should be no apprehension with regards the continuity or sustainability of the Social Investment programmes as the Government will continue to adequately fund them and ensure that they reach the beneficiaries and touch lives positively. 

“Finally, while craving for patience and understanding, I wish to thank all the NSIP Managers, who are taking great pains to explain the technicalities of the project to the Ministry officials to ensure a smooth transition,” Farouq stressed.

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