The President Muhammadu Buhari government has approved the disengagement of 2,525 beneficiaries of the N-Power programme for absconding from their primary place of assignment.
The N-Power programme was introduced in Nigeria as a job enhancement scheme aimed at imbibing the learn-work-entrepreneurship culture in Nigerian youths between the ages of 18 and 35 for graduates and non-graduates.
About 500,000 youth, spread across the 774 local government areas of the country are currently enrolled in the programme and have since been deployed to teach in public schools, act as health workers in primary health centres, as agricultural extension advisors to smallholder farmers in the communities and also as community tax liaison officers.
Beneficiaries under the graduate category take home N30,000 monthly for their services.
Confirming the development to The Punch, the Communications Manager, National Social Investment Office, Justice Bibiye, said 18,674 other beneficiaries of the initiative have voluntarily resigned, having secured permanent employment.
He said, “It had earlier come to the notice of the federal team that some of the N-Power beneficiaries had either absconded from their primary places of assignment or gained permanent employment subsequent to their commencement on the programme.
“The federal team has continued to encourage feedback from the states from existing monitors, whistle-blowers and members of the public through its existing call centre and has acted swiftly by initially placing such beneficiaries on suspension for a period of 45 days.
“Unless such beneficiaries are able to provide proof from their primary place of assignment and the state focal person that they were actually present, or absent with reason, their participation in the programme is terminated after the period of suspension.
“So far, 2,525 beneficiaries have been delisted, following reports garnered from the various avenues, whilst 18,674 have voluntarily resigned, having secured permanent employment.”
He said in a statement that reports from a few states, however, showed that some beneficiaries of the programme have stayed away for long periods of time from their primary places of assignment, adding that this has led to the need for continued action against those who are seen to be undermining the smooth implementation of the social intervention initiative.