Tension was high on Monday morning in Abuja as beneficiaries of the Npower scheme protested at the Public Service Institute, Kubwa, Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, over backlog of unpaid allowances.
According to SaharaReporters, the angry beneficiaries are demanding payment of their outstanding three months’ stipend and feeding allowances owed by the management of the scheme.
The scheme pays each beneficiary N42,000 feeding allowance per month and N10,000 stipend for the same period.
According to one of the protesters, Micheal Bright, who spoke with SaharaReporters, they have yet to be paid their feeding allowance for December – a situation he says has left many of them hungry and sick.
He said, “We are being treated as slaves here. It is like the government brought us from different states to this camp in Abuja to starve us to death.
“We have been enduring hunger since we got to this place, we cannot take it anymore and that is why we protested today. Something urgent has to be done.”
SaharaReporters learnt that activities at the institute were paralysed on Monday as a result of the demonstration by the aggrieved Npower beneficiaries.
Though an official, who later addressed them promised that their allowances will be paid before the end of this week, the protesters vowed to shun lecture rooms at the institute until the matter was resolved.
Beneficiaries of Npower’s Batch C (Stream 1) from states in the North-Central region of Nigeria are camped at the Public Service Institute in Kubwa.
The present set resumed at the camp on November 3 and are expected to vacate on December 20.
However, no communication on what will happen next after that date had been relayed to the beneficiaries, SaharaReporters gathered.
The Npower scheme is under the supervision of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.