The smooth running of the N-Power programme is seriously under threat as beneficiaries are threatening a showdown with government of grievances that are unattended to.
N-Power beneficiaries under the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) on Thursday, February 20, threatened to embark a nationwide total strike over the non-payment of January stipend. They also called for the resignation of Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Sadiya Farouq.
Beneficiaries of this scheme made the statement on Thursday, claiming that the stipend delay began after the programme was moved to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, under the minister, Sadiya Farouq. They said they were receiving prompt payment while the programme was under office of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Non-payment of allowances became an issue again after a similar incident occurred in October 2019 when beneficiaries were not paid for three months.
Reports have it that since the social investment programme of the Federal government was moved from Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, the minister, Sadiya Farouq, had been making attempts to stop some of the programmes under the scheme.
Aside from announcing that beneficiaries would be laid off, she has also refused to release funds for the school feeding programme in some states.
The beneficiaries under National Association of N-power Volunteers said that they would no longer hesitate to embark on a strike action if their allowances were not paid.
The beneficiaries are also asking for the immediate resignation of Farouq over the delay in salary payment since she took over the scheme.
According to them, “We believe that Hajia Farouq has a selfish agenda to sabotage the effort of the Federal Government to eliminate unemployment as she had continually held on to public money without reasons.
“We are hereby calling on the minister to as a matter of urgency give us reasons why she has deliberately refused to pay volunteers who have exhausted their time, energy and resources offering voluntary service to the Federal Government.
“She should also give volunteers a reason why she was still holding to that position she currently occupies knowing full well that she is incapacitated in running this all important office as the lives of many Nigerian youth solely depends on this stipend that she had continued to deny them promptly.
“To this end, we shall embark on a peaceful protest both physical and online to demand her resignation, prompt payment of stipend.”
Tension is still high as the Federal government has yet to react to the brewing trouble in the N-Power programme.