President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday defended the N-Power programme, saying it has boosted the nation’s economy. The president declared that the N-Power beneficiaries had done well for themselves, their respective homes and for the nation as a whole. Speaking at the official launch of, “Build The Future”, Oyo State chapter, President Buhari who was represented by Mr. Afolabi Imoukhede, Senior Special Adviser to President on Job creation, noted N-Power had help the beneficiaries a lot and this has also help boost the nation’s economy.
The programme held at the Agodi Garden Ibadan, was organised by the state Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Development, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation with the support of the office of the Senior Special Assistant to President on Job Creation to commemorate the federal government achievements on the N-Power programme which has positively affected the lives of Nigerian youths.
“The N- Power beneficiaries are doing great in their families with the little stipends they received from the government, they are now a responsible person in their respective homes, they too have contributed a lot to the growth of our economy because they will spend out money out of the little stipend they earn.
“N-Power programme is real and it is not fake, the beneficiaries are not selected based on their religion, political parties, nor because of personalities influence, but based on merit and the passion to empower the teaming unemployed Nigerian youths.”
“I must also commend the beneficiaries for doing their job diligently, I can tell you that this has help this country a lot, especially in the areas of agriculture, education and health. Some of those beneficiaries were trained to train local farmers on how to use modern day agricultural tools to enhance the production of their farm produce.
“Some of the beneficiaries were trained on how to teach the children and they were employed immediately into various public schools throughout the nation and this has indeed help to boost the education sector.
“I think I have to thank them for contributing greatly to the development of our dear country, I commend you all for the job well done, you must all have fate and continue to work with the hope that the program will be a permanent one”, he said. He, however urge the beneficiaries to cast their votes for President Buhari so that the continuity of government can give room for continuity of this programme.
He said, “President Buhari believes so much in building the future, and youths are the future of tomorrow, and if you all want this program to continue, then we must all cast our votes for President Buhari, our vote is our power to sustain this program, continuity of government can sustain this program.” Afolabi explained.
In her own goodwill message, the state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Community Development, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Atinuke Osunkoya congratulated the beneficiaries, and urged them to remain focus, be prayerful and also cast their votes for President Buhari so as to ensure the continuity of the program.
She said ” I congratulate you all, I know that most of you are doing well with the stipends you are earning through this program but is still want you to remain focus, have believe that the program will be a permanent one then use your votes to extend the program by casting your vote for president Buhari.” Some beneficiaries who spoke expressed their gratitude to the federal government but appealed to the government to make the programme a permanent one. Mr. Adeshina Rasheed, a fish farmer from Oluyole Local Government Area, who was employed as a primary school teacher, under N-Power, said “I commend the federal government for this programme. “
In fact I must say that this programme is transparent enough because I obtained a late form and I did not know any politicians, but I was still employed under N-Power programme, and with the little stipends I earned am doing great in my family and my fish pond farming is doing well as well.”
N-Power Beneficiaries’ Attitude To Work Is Poor – Presidency
Special Adviser to the President on Job Creation, Jimoh Brimah, has warned that the scheme was not created to ensure a permanent job for beneficiaries.
Brimah explained that N-Power was created to train beneficiaries on how to be independent at the end of their programme.
He said this while condemning the lazy attitude of some beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s social empowerment scheme, N-Power.
Brimah lamented that most beneficiaries have not taken the opportunity provided by the scheme seriously.
He stated this while speaking at a programme on how to create employment for youths organised by ‘The Companion’, an Islamic youth association in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, over the weekend.
Brimah said, “The initiative of N-Power was not to create permanent jobs of N30,000 monthly salaries for the beneficiaries but to train them on employability skills and how they can as well be independent and be employers of labour after they must have passed through two years of training.
“But it is just unfortunate that many of the beneficiaries are not taking it seriously with the report that most of them do not always report at their places of training; instead they prefer sharing the stipend with the head of those organisation.”
FG Sacks Over 2,000 N-Power Beneficiaries
The Nigerian government has disengaged over 2,000 beneficiaries of one of its National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), N-Power.
NSIP spokesman Justice Bibiye said the beneficiaries were dismissed for absconding duties at their places of primary assignment (PPA) for a long time. N-Power was introduced in 2016 by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration “to imbibe the entrepreneurship culture in the Nigerian youth aged between 18 and 35 — both graduates and non-graduates”.
An estimated 500,000 youths across the country are currently engaged in the scheme, providing services in the country’s education, health, agriculture sectors and local government offices with a monthly N30,000 stipend.
“Instances have 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,” Bibiye said in a statement. Bibiye stated that N-Power is not a charity programme, thus everyone captured under the scheme is expected to justify the benefits and rules of engagement through diligence, hard work and commitment to designated duties.
He said similar acts of dereliction of duty, indolence, absenteeism and indiscipline on the part of the beneficiaries will continue to be sanctioned.
Bibire disclosed that government has increased the number of monitoring partners for supervision and monitoring of all components of the NSIPs for effective and efficient service delivery. He urged members of the public to report cases of absenteeism as strict measures would ensure fewer cases of misconduct against the values of the programme.
“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,” Bibire said.
Ecobank Sacks Over 900 Staff In A Week
In what many have described as a fallout of the prevailing harsh operating environemnt in the country, Ecobank Nigeria has over the last week sacked over 900 of its employees across the country, thereby adding to the nation’s already bloated unemployment market.
Some of the affected ex-employees told Daily Sun that the bank allegedly sacked 800 tellers last Friday while another 100 were thrown out of job on Tuesday. This was even as the bank argued that the sacked workers were not its direct employees.
But the National Union of Banks Insurance and Financial Institutions (NUBIFIE), Wednesday, accused the bank management of being economical with the truth. NUBIFIE President, Comrade Anthony Abakpa, in an interview with the Daily Sun, yesterday, said the workers were sacked without following due process.
According to him, some of the workers sacked had been in the Ecobank employment for over ten years and were paid parting peanuts of between N50,000 to N100,000.
“We’ve been having issues with the bank’s management over its flagrant disregard for labour laws in the country, but the recent action of sacking our members without due consultation with the union would be the last straw that broke the camel’s back and we can no longer continue to be quiet,” he said. Abakpa said in recent time, over 1000 members have been sacked by Ecobank management without following due process He listed among other breaches committed by the bank against its members to include, non payment of pension up to date, denial of such employees of health facilities, offered through Oceanic Health and payment of N5,000.00 per diem for drivers on official assignment out of their station.
The union also accused the bank of victimisation of outsourcing of staff by the core staff, non -provision of protective uniform for the despatch riders while on duty, using of drivers beyond 6pm by the branch marketers without allowances, and the Omniflow unit not paid over -time allowances to date.
Also listed among the bank’s misdemeanours include coming to weekend work with no rest for the staff of Omniflow, series of sickness and death in the Omniflow unit and poor salaries among others. He said, “The argument of the bank that they are contract staff is not tenable, because in Nigeria, every worker irrespective of his status is protected by law and belongs to a union.
“We are not saying they cannot sack, but what we want is that the workers must be adequately compensated and this right we are going to enforce on behalf of our members.
Meanwhile, Ecobank Nigeria in its official reaction said it did not disengage its staff, but rather decided not to renew the contract of its third party recruitment agencies which expired recently and as such returned this category of personnel back to the agencies that engaged them.
The bank’s statement read in part “As a demonstration of the bank’s concern and compassion for the affected personnel of our contractors, palliative measures were put in place by the bank to cushion the effect on them: These include payment of contract cessation packages of over half a billion Naira already paid through their employers as well as opportunity given to those with requisite qualification to apply to the bank for permanent employment. “In addition, the bank has offered them the opportunity to become Xpress point agents of Ecobank as a way of further providing them entrepreneurial and financial empowerment. May we state that Ecobank is not obligated to renew its contract with the service providers involved.
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