President Muhammadu Buhari has reminded volunteers in the N-power scheme that the financial benefits they receive from the programme “”is money paid for work done’’.
Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation said this when the scheme’s assessment and evaluation team paid a courtesy visit to the Kano State governor Abdullahi Ganduje on Wednesday night.
He said: “”There is a message that Mr President has asked us to pass in every state we visit.
“”It is that please this is money paid for work done; this is an investment in their lives.
“”And this is an investment that, for the first time in many years, is going directly to the beneficiaries and not through any third party, not through any gateway.’’
According to the presidential aide in Kano no fewer than 1,200 volunteers are being paid stipends earlier in the year.
Imokhuede said that as at April about N0.58 billion had entered into the state’s economy through the beneficiaries that were getting paid regularly.
He said that at inception 25,600 applications were received from Kano State out of which about 11,000 were for graduate recruitment and about 13,000 applicants were non-graduates.
He said Kano State was offered 4,900 placements in the first phase but noted that 3,868 of them were verified for payment by the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBS).
He said that the 13,000 non-graduate applicants in the state would be mobilized in batches as from May.
Imokhuede noted that those graduates who scaled the verification besides getting their regular N30,000 monthly stipends would also receive the credit device facility under the scheme from June.
“”From June we will take delivery of the devices and shall tell them where to pick them up,’’ he said.
He said that underscored the President’s message and urged the volunteers to work hard and take the programme seriously as the funds got to them directly.
He said the scheme’s monitoring framework was in place and that defaulters would not only be delisted but also penalized.
Imoukhuede said the scheme would soon resolve all payment challenges of Kano volunteers adding that once resolved all their stipend backlog would be settled.
He said that the growth of the economy led to the job creation scheme adding that what the president had done with the N-power was a lifeline to unemployed youths and not an end in itself.
“”It is a lifeline because it is a paid volunteer programme for 24 months to enhance their employability through being deployed to community schools, farms and health programmes,’’ he said.
The presidential aide said the appeal that Kano be given special consideration due to its population was noted by the presidency and gave the assurance that it would be considered when the portal reopens in June.
Responding, Ganduje said the scheme was the best thing that had happened to the economy of the country in recent times.
The governor said that N-Power was capable of reviving the economy but advised that a template for its sustenance be created for it not to fail.
He urged the youths to recognize that the benefits they derived came from President Buhari and that they imbibed the discipline of the president in order to move the country forward.
The Senior Special Assistant on Special Intervention Programmes in Kano, Hajiya Aisha Jafaru, noted that the success of the N-Power scheme in the state was heartwarming.
She, however, urged the Presidency to increase the number of volunteer recruits in the state and also resolve the issue of unpaid stipends to about 632 volunteers.(NAN)