The federal government says it will ensure that beneficiaries of the N-Power scheme yet to be paid, receive their deserved salaries.
Betta Edu, minister of humanitarian affairs and poverty alleviation, made the promise in a statement issued on Sunday by Akindele Egbuwalo, national programme manager of N-Power.
On Saturday, the minister had announced th I definite suspension of the f the N-Power programme due to irregularities.
Edu said the action became imperative to give room for a detailed investigation into the operations of the scheme in the last twelve months.
Elaborating on measures put in place to ensure accountability and transparency when the scheme restarts, Edu said in the statement that there is a need for a comprehensive evaluation of the programme.
“There is a need to audit the number of people in the programme, those who have exited the programme, those who are being owed, whether they reported to work or not and how funds have been utilised over this period of time,” the statement reads.
“These instances have made the need for a thorough audit imperative, as we also look into claims of those being owed for up to eight to nine months’ stipends to ascertain the veracity of their claims.
“We appeal to Nigerians to understand the rationale behind the temporary suspension and investigation of the programme as we work to restore the nation’s confidence in the programme and for the new N-Power to serve Nigerians better.
“Things have to be properly done for us to move forward.”
The minister also assured all beneficiaries with genuine claims that “we will resolve their cases once we complete the verification exercise and honor all valid outstanding obligations. Nobody will be owed”.
Edu said after the N-Power scheme has been revamped, an expanded programme to reach beneficiaries aged 18-40 (the previous age limit was 35), will be introduced.
“We are targeting 5 million beneficiaries in 5 years at a pace of 1 million per year under the graduate and non-graduate stream,” she said.
“In addition, the restructuring will accommodate some new programmes, in education, health, works, agriculture, technology, fashion, entertainment and other relevant areas of skill acquisition and employability.
“To earn the confidence of Nigerians in the expanded programme, transparency and accountability will be the benchmark.”
The minister added that efforts are underway to ensure that no one directly or indirectly unleashes suffering on Nigerians through the scheme.