Beneficiaries of batch A and B of N-Power have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), to investigate the activities of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development under Minister Sadiya Umar Farouk.
The call, which was contained in a petition signed by Comrade Bashir Usman Gobir, appealed for a thorough and discrete investigation into the affairs of the Ministry in order to save the 500,000 beneficiaries that have been meted with grave injustice by the Ministry.
The petitioners also urged for investigation into the proprietary or otherwise of the untimely sacking of Batches A and B N-Power Beneficiaries by the Ministry.
They called for the investigation to find out the whereabouts of the unpaid and/or withheld five months arrears of allowances for 14,000 N-Power Beneficiaries of batches A and B.
The petition also called for the investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the non-payment of exit packages for the 500,000 beneficiaries of batches A and B as undertook by the Honourable Minister in line with the directives of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a petition titled: ‘Petition against the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in Respect of the disengaged 500,000 N-POWER beneficiaries in batches A & B’, Comrade Bashir Usman Gobir who is the National Chairman, Association of Exited N-Power Beneficiaries of Nigeria said that the petition was on behalf of the 500,000 Exited N-Power Beneficiaries
According to him, the inaccessibility and unavailability of NEXIT portal which was introduced to enable the disengaged batches A and B N-Power beneficiaries access the empowerment programme under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) needs to be investigated.
“I therefore, in line with your statutory mandate, urge the commission to take appropriate legal measures against any person who may be found wanting in the mismanagement of the N-Power funds,” he said.
Comrade Bashir Usman Gobir said that the situation has caused 500,000 persons to undergo untold hardships, deprivations.
He stated that the N-Power programme is one of the laudable programmes initiated by the President Muhammad Buhari led administration with a view to training youths, to acquire vocational skills, thereby, making them self-reliant and by necessary implication, employers of labour, through the establishment of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Comrade Gobir further explained that the total number of the engaged youths under the N-Power programme according to an official statement issued by the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk stood at 500,000.00 comprising of the two batches, that is, batches A and B, 200,000 300,000, respectively.
Bashir Usman Gobir added, “it is worthy to further note that in line with the objective of the programme and policy directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, at the exit-point, an N-Power beneficiary is entitled to exited-monetary package and/or capital, which will enable him/her to finally find something that will serve as a final settlement.”
Gobir said that the attitude of the ministry has gone contrary to the designed policy statement and directives of President Muhammadu Buhari when batches A and B’s tenure was purportedly said to have expired sometimes in 2019, before the actual time.
He said there was persistent call and peaceful demonstrations at the FCT Abuja by the affected N-Power beneficiaries from across the country over the non-payment of the exit package and absence of an exit plan fund for their disengagement.
There was also the allegation that the funds of the scheme have been grossly mismanaged by the authorities vested with the management and control of same.
The National Coordinator explained that the critical burning issues with regard to the exited N-Power batches A and B include but not limited to: the untimely sacking of Batches A and B N-Power Beneficiaries by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development under the leadership of Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk.
Also the Unpaid five months arrears of allowances for 14,000 beneficiaries of batches A and B, respectively; Non-payment of exit package for the exited 500,000 beneficiaries of batches A and B.
Gobir expressed worries that the NEXIT portal, which was introduced to enable the disengaged batches A and B access the empowerment programme is no longer accessible and available.
He decried that the situation has made life difficult to other breaches which he described as a violation of the policies of the programme.