Resulting from non regular payment of Npower Beneficiaries monthly stipends leading to huge backlogs, the Minister in charge of the programme,Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq has on four occasions been summed by Nigerian Lawmakers in which she refused to honour the invitations.
While there have been public outcries from Beneficiaries over this inhumane treatment since the programme was moved from Vice President Office to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development ( MHADMSD ), the Minister in charge of the programme seemed to have paid deaf ear.
This act of inhumanity and incompetence on the part of the Minister has given room for the Beneficiaries to call for the sacking of the Minister and subsequent investigation of her activities in the Ministry since she took over.
Available facts have shown that the monthly stipend of N30,000 is no longer regular and more than 80, 000 beneficiaries are being owed four months aside some others who are being expunged from the payroll without cogent reason or explanation.
The Minister has also kept the Beneficiaries in dark the so much talked about “enhancement scheme” which is envisaged to give the Beneficiaries permanent means of livelihood …. of course, that would be able to pay their bills like any other graduate working in Nigeria for the government or private sectors.
Amid of these show of incompetence and show of I don’t care attitude by the Minister, it is somewhat embarrassing and counter productive as well as insensitive on the part of the Minister to announce the disengagements of 500,000 Nigerians from this scheme especially at this time of COVID-19 pandemic that Economy is locked down.
Recall that earlier last month, there was an open letter from Npower Beneficiaries across the 36 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory to President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerian Senate and House of Rep to call Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq to order, checkmate her activities and possibly sack her for the good of Nigerian people as her coming on board has brought untold hardship to the Beneficiaries.
It is therefore seen as a gimmick on the part of the Minister to now use her office to sack 500,000 Nigerians from Npower scheme without defined transition plan in place.
The Minister in her native intelligent is saying that batch A and B have to go in order for Batch C to come in.
This portion of her statement is seen as “divide and rule system” as she is making the waiting applicants to believe that, the reason why they are yet to be enlisted into the programme is because batch A and B are still on board.
This statement is seen as deceptive and misleading aimed at causing disaffection between the current Beneficiaries and the waiting Applicants.
In management, we call this gimmick by the Minister as “divide and rule system”.
It is so call ” divide and rule system ” because she is trying to get sympathy and support from the waiting Applicants that on boarding batch A and B pave way for their enrollments.
Again this is mischievous and satanic plot as the coming on board of batch C is not supposed to affect batch A and B in any way after all, there was batch A before batch B came on board.
Let the record be set straight that no Npower Beneficiary is against the enrollments of more Nigerians as the programme can even have upto batch A to Z.
But let it be said that the coming on board of one category of batch is not supposed to render the existing batch unemployed as the programme is meant in the long run to transit the Beneficiaries into permanent jobs.
So far, the Beneficiaries have efficiently and effectively served their fathers’ land in their various places of primary assignment.
It is however disturbing for the Minister to now say that the transition programme would “only” benefit those who successfully passed what she termed as ” a compulsory completion of psychometric assessment test”.
Part of her statement on the purported transition plan reads: “As apart of the transition process before eligible volunteers will be absorbed into government entrepreneurship schemes and engaging private sector bodies to absorb some of the beneficiaries, a compulsory completion of psychometric assessment would be done to determine competency and placement into various opportunities.
Only successful volunteers will get the limited spaces available for engagement…”
What is even more disturbing in the above statement is that, ” only successful candidates would be engaged out of the limited spaces”
This sadly implies that Madam Minister sees examination as the true test of knowledge for Beneficiaries after they have competently served in their various places of primary assignments.
Without degrading the office of the Minister, it is otherwise sad for the Minister to descend so low to be involved at this elbow of thought that test is the criteria for the purported transition programme.
It may shock the Minister to know that Beneficiaries are aware already that she has no plan in place to promote Npower Beneficiaries into the so much anticipated enhancement scheme as all is planning to do is to sack the current Beneficiaries.
We feel that, if she is not aware how the programme was conceived, it is not too for her to go and ask President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the philosophies behind the programme in both the short run and in the long run.
If one may even go back to Honourable Minister’s statement above, what will then be the fate of those who may not make the purported “psychometric assessment test”?
Again since, the Minister affirmed that there are limited number of spaces for the Beneficiaries, what would happen in a situation where number of Beneficiaries who pass the test are far more than the limited numbers for engagement?
Is it not glaring that this Minister is incompetence and misfit to handle this scheme?
Aside covid-19 pandemic challenge, available fact shows that Nigeria has about the worst case of unemployment across the globe as 87% of the entire population lives below per dollar a day.
A situation many Economic observers/ Analysts have said that ” Nigerian Government ” needs to declare “state of emergency” on unemployment.
To educate Minister Sadiya, it is instructive for her to know that countries of the world are at the moment fighting unemployment and poverty with all the arsenals at their disposals thus, it is therefore counter productive for any one to send more Applicants on monthly stipends of N30,000 to join labour market as she has planned to do.
Having said all of these; we therefore demand the following conditions to be meant:
1. That over 80,000 Beneficiaries who are yet to get their March, April, May & June stipends should be paid immediately without any further delay.
2. That Representative of the government should explain the details of enhancement scheme to the Beneficiaries within three working days of this publication.
3. That the bill seeking for permanency of Npower Beneficiaries sponsored by Senator Lawal Yahaya which is at the second stage of reading, should be given accelerated attention.
4. That Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq who have come to destroy President Muhammadu Buhari most reverence legacy in the area of social investment scheme should be sacked and her activities in the Ministry since she took over thoroughly investigated.
5. That henceforth, competent hands should be employed and deployed to MHADMSD to man the affairs of the Ministry in order to bring sanity and competency to bear.
As we say we cannot afford to go back to the streets amid this covid-19 pandemic, let us also emphasis that we have been law abiding citizens and we shall continue to be but we shall not fail to embark on “mother of all protest” across the Federation should our conditions not meant as stated above.
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria
Long Live President Muhammadu Buhari
Long Live Npower Beneficiaries Across Nigeria.
Media Team Of Npower Beneficiaries
In 36 States Of The Federation & FCT