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N-power: FG apologises, sets date for release of Jan., Feb. stipends

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The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Empowerment, Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, said that the federal government had resolved the hiccups in the stipends of N-Power volunteers.

According to him, the Federal Government would remit January stipends of non-graduates as well as February pay for graduates of the N-power programme from Friday.

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Imoukhuede told newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, that efforts were in place to ensure that the payment against the backdrop of complaints by the beneficiaries of the scheme over delay in the payment of their monthly stipends since the programme was moved to a new ministry.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, had said that the delay was due to some verification process going on in the new ministry.

Imoukhuede, while apologising for the delay, said that the irregular payment cycle experienced in the last five months would be adduced to efforts to understand the nature of the programme.

“The minister had said that she needed to be briefed to understand the process, which we have done and that is the reason for the hiccups.

“I have the assurances of the new ministry that the worst days are behind us and I am aware that the January stipend although late would be paid.

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“I am aware that non-graduates have not been paid yet but as I speak, it is in the final lap and you should expect payment on or before Friday this week,’’ Imoukhuede said.

He also said that the February stipend for graduates in the scheme was at the advanced stage.

“And I have assurances that at the end of this week you should get that and also the non-graduate also by next week.

“So, we are catching up on these backlogs and the paperwork and the minister, the permanent secretary and the directors in the ministry are working late hours to ensure the worst days are indeed behind us,’’ Imoukhuede said.

He, however, assured the beneficiaries that there were no plans to deny any of them of their valid earnings.

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According to Imoukhuede, if you are not paid, it is either you failed validation or you are on temporary suspension.

“For a few who do not get paid for failing validation, we reach you from the account record we get so that you can go and regularise yourself with your bank or update your bank verification number.

“Once you regularise, you get your legitimate backlog,’’ he assured.

While noting that necessary steps would be taken to protect the beneficiaries from identity theft, Imoukhuede emphasised that payment for those who absconded from work would be placed on hold.

He dispelled the notion in some quarters that some non-existent persons were enrolled in the scheme.

“There are no ghost workers in N-power.

“Ghost workers as erroneously used are our volunteers who are in the minority, who abscond from place of primary assignment and when we get such report we place such people on payment hold,’’ he said.

Imoukhuede congratulated the volunteers for being steadfast in the scheme as well as the female volunteers who were delivered of babies, those married in the leap year and others who earned promotions or admissions for further studies.

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