Beneficiaries of the NPower scheme which includes; N-Agro, N-Health, N-Teach, N-Build, N-Creative, etc., and others have threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over the non-payment of January stipends. The scheme is an empowerment which was created by the current APC government, to empower the unemployed Nigerian Youths, the programe is expected to last form a period of two years for each batch (meanwhile, the 2016 set are still receiving their stipends).
The issue of non-payment of allowances was once again a matter of national discourse after a similar incident occurred in October 2019 when beneficiaries were not paid for three months.
It was learnt that since the social investment programme of the Nigerian Government was moved to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, headed by the minister, Sadiya Farouq, had been making attempts to pause 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 Npower 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 their stipend payment since she took over the scheme.
We believe that the Minister 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 (she has refused to update the beneficiaries on the reasons for the none payment of their stipends).
We hereby call 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 of Nigeria.
To this end, we shall embark on a peaceful protest both physical and online to demand her resignation, prompt payment of stipend.
Sadiya Farouq should also give volunteers reasons why she was still holding to that position she currently occupies knowing fully 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.