The federal government has reportedly sacked 2,525 beneficiaries of its N-Power programme for absenting themselves from their primary places of assignment across the country News Hub Mag! reports.
The communications manager of the National Social Investment Programme, Justice Bibiye, in a statement said the decision followed reports from states that some beneficiaries of the programme have stayed away for long periods of time from their primary places of assignment.
Bibiye said the development has “compelled the need for continued action against those who are seen to be undermining the smooth implementation of a well-thought out federal government social intervention initiative.”
“Consequently, to ensure seamless execution of the programme in order to achieve the set goals, the NSIO has increased the number of monitoring partners, with fresh discussions having commenced in earnest to seek enhanced supervision and the strengthening of monitoring, for effective and efficient service delivery of all components of the NSIPs.
“Beneficiaries must understand that N-Power is not a charity programme and, therefore, everyone captured under the scheme is expected to justify his/her engagement by demonstrating diligence, hard work and commitment to duty at their PPAs. Acts of dereliction of duty, indolence, absenteeism and indiscipline on the part of volunteers shall continue to be dealt with decisively and in line with the rules of engagement.”
Bibiye further said that the N-power programme is a successful initiative which could not be rated otherwise due to misconduct of some beneficiaries.
The statement continued: “Given the thousands of positive stories relating to the diligence and commitment of the beneficiaries from so many quarters, however, most of whom have worked to not only transform their lives, but also transform their communities; we are persuaded that the relatively fewer cases of misconduct have not hampered the overall success of the N-Power programme.
“Field reports reaching us from our independent monitors, the States, the schools and other places of assignment confirm that the vast majority of the volunteers have been of good conduct and are making significant contributions to National development within their PPAs.”
The communications manager of the NSIP urged the public to continue to provide feedback so as to enhance the quality of the social scheme. “We, however, wish to also encourage continued feedback from the public, as we welcome constructive reports of absconding beneficiaries and similar malpractices in the field, as such information would enable us enhance programme delivery around the country,” he said.
Bibiye also urged the media to help the office by reporting erring volunteers and absenteeism. He said: “Indeed, even because Nigeria covers such a vast terrain, the public and the media would only be supporting the efforts of the administration to reduce unemployment, by reporting the relatively few indolent, erring volunteers who were lucky to have been selected to serve under such a programme.
“The process has begun and can only get better if everyone embraces the programme and considers it a collective responsibility to ensure that the millions of deserving Nigerians that are the target audience of the NSIPs are impacted positively, with reduced unemployment indices in Nigeria.”
News Hub Mag! recalls that the N-Power programme was introduced in 2016 by the President Buhari-led administration as a job enhancement scheme aimed at imbibing the learn-work-entrepreneurship culture in Nigerian youth between 18 and 35 for graduates, as well as for non-graduates. About 500,000 youth, spread across the 774 LGAs 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 small holder farmers in the communities and also as community tax liaison officers.