The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, has stated that it observed that there was a rally at the National Assembly, on Thursday, by some N-Power beneficiaries, adding that, it however, made it clear to the beneficiaries of the Scheme, that the Federal Government cannot afford to make such amount of N300 billion available as grant.
It said that the rally later proceeded to the Federal Secretariat Complex, in Abuja, as the protesters claimed to be representatives of the Federal Government’s N-Power beneficiaries, who were about to be exited.
The Ministry’s Deputy Director, Press, Rhoda Iliya, noted in a statement issued in Abuja, on Friday, that the protesters requested the Federal Government to employ all the 500,000 N-Power beneficiaries, as well as pay them a grant of N600,000 each.
Her words: “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 two years.
“Furthermore, the government cannot afford the N300 billion, they were asking for as grant.”
The Ministry said that it was noteworthy to state that the Federal Government had expended hundreds of billions on the N-Power beneficiaries, during the last four years.
It added that the Ministry is currently liaising with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, the Agency responsible for the payment of N-Power beneficiaries’ stipends, to ensure that any outstanding legitimate claim is settled.
It insisted that 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 had already commenced.
The ministry argued that even though it is not a lending Agency, it is contacting other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to see if the exited beneficiaries could key into their empowerment programmes.