Why we’re owing N-Power beneficiaries – FG
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, has explained the delay in paying the monthly stipends of beneficiaries of the N-Power programme.
The minister said the delay resulted from a verification process embarked upon by the ministry.
Farouq stated this on Monday during a visit by members of the House of Representatives Committee on Poverty Alleviation. The committee, which was on a familiarisation visit to the ministry, was led by its chairman, Hon. Abdullahi Salame.
According to her, the verification process became necessary to enable the ministry to understand and have a full list of beneficiaries that were paid before she began to supervise the N-Power programme.
She said that the ministry has asked those that were in charge of the programme to provide historical background, justification, the last approval and last list of beneficiaries that were paid.
The Minister said: “I know we had a complaint in October while we just got the NSIP into the ministry and we needed to understand the programme considering that it has been in existence before we came on board. We needed to understand before we start signing for a large amount of money and that was why we had the delay then.
“Unfortunately, then we were operating with a director who was overseeing the office of the permanent secretary and then in January, we had a new permanent secretary who also had to understand the nature of the programme.”
Explaining further, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Tijani Umaru said: “When I came on board, the realization was very clear to me that the government is spending huge sums of money on the programme. The amount is very colossal and we wanted to read and understand because as an accounting officer, it is very instructive for me to understand what we are paying for and to be able to stand anywhere and vouch for the payments and say that we take full responsibilities for the payment.
“We issued a press statement from the ministry to say that slight delays will be experienced and this is as a result of the fact that we have to put all proposals for payment under the microscope because they are paid in billions of naira and it is simply not possible for us to just build on a foundation that we did not start.
“We apologise for any delay but we also say that it is also part of the job and we have to observe due process and ensure that due diligence is observed across the board.”