The federal government has given reasons why the monthly stipend given to N-Power beneficiaries has not been paid for the past two months.
N-Power is one of the National Social Investment Programmes (SIP) designed by the present administration to reduce poverty, unemployment and social insecurity among Nigerians. It involves the deployment of thousands of unemployed graduates to schools and other institutions to work there while the government pays them a stipend of N30,000 monthly.
The NSIPs were being supervised by the office of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, but has now been transferred to the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
In a press briefing on Monday, the minister in charge of the new ministry, Sadiya Farouq, blamed the payment delay on the current handing over process of the N-Power to her ministry.
“The ministry is currently engaging the NSIP Cluster Heads for clarifications; in essence, the handover and taking process for these two programmes is still ongoing,” she said.
She also suggested that the retention of N-Power beneficiaries who should have exited was also responsible for the delay.
“That N-Power beneficiaries enrolled in 2016 are yet to be exited 16 months after the elapse of their contract; they are supposed to have been graduated to a more productive venture,” she said.
She said the ministry was making efforts to develop an exit plan and that the money owed would be paid to beneficiaries upon conclusion of the handing over process.
She assured the public that the government will continue to fund its Social Investment Programmes and ensure that it touches lives positively.
Read the full briefing by the minister below.
PRESS BRIEFING IN RESPONSE TO THE NONPAYMENT OF STIPENDS TO N-POWER BENEFICIARIES:
RESPONSE BY THE MINISTRY OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ON THE NON PAYMENT OF STIPENDS TO N-POWER BENEFICIARIES.
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development came into existence in August 2019. The mandate of the new Ministry was communicated in October 2019. Among the Agencies and Programmes reposed on the Ministry was the National Social Investment Programme.
The N-Power initiative is one of the four clusters of National Social Investment Programmes that were designed to stem the growing tide of poverty, unemployment and Social Insecurity in Nigeria. N-Power is the job creation and economic empowerment component of the NSIP for young unemployed Nigerians.
I have received initial briefings from heads of Agencies and Programmes reporting to the Ministry from October 2019, however on account of the technicalities involved, the handing over process is still on-going. With regards, to recent agitations and outcry against the non – approval of payments of October and November, 2019 stipends to N-Power beneficiaries the Ministry wishes to:
Reaffirm its commitment to ensuring that beneficiaries of all the
Social Investment Programmes access interventions designed for them
within the stipulated guidelines.
Inform that the Home Grown Feeding Programme, which is also a cluster of the NSIP has continued to run smoothly since its transfer to the Ministry. Except for the four states that were submitted during my absence and this has already been treated.
That there are information gaps with regards the monitoring and evaluation mechanism and framework of the N – Power and the GEEP programmes. Some officials of NSIP are of the view that the programmes should be completely restructured.
The Ministry is currently engaging the NSIP Cluster Heads for clarifications; in essence, the Handover and Taking process for these two (2) programmes is still ongoing.
That N-Power beneficiaries enrolled in 2016 are yet to be exited 16
months after the elapse of their contract; they are supposed to have
been graduated to a more productive venture;
That the Ministry is currently making efforts to develop an exit strategy, which is non-existent.
I wish to seize this opportunity to assure all N- Power beneficiaries and indeed all Nigerians of the Ministry’s commitment to Mr President’s promise to stem poverty in the country as well as lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. This is a clarion call we must all answer for the sake of our fatherland. This present glitch needs addressing if we are to commence the assignment at hand with the required traction. In this regard, the Ministry also wishes to assure all beneficiaries that all arrears will be paid as soon as the handing and taking processes are concluded and the grey areas are addressed. There should be no apprehension with regards to the continuity or sustainability of the Social Investment programmes as the Government will continue to adequately fund them and ensure that they reach the beneficiaries and touch lives positively. Finally, while craving for patience and understanding, I wish to thank all the NSIP Managers, who are taking great pains to explain the technicalities of the project to the Ministry officials to ensure a smooth transition.
2nd DECEMBER 2019
DSS Denies Arresting Sowore Within Court Premises
The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied the media reports that it arrested journalist and activist, Mr. Omoyele Sowore within the premises of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Friday 6th December, 2019.
The DSS said in a press release signed by its Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, Ph.D that ‘it is instructive to note that during the court proceeding of the day under reference, Defence Counsel, Femi FALANA (SAN), called the attention of the Judge to a suspicion that the Service was planning to re-arrest Omoyele SOWORE immediately after the court session.
“The Court discountenanced his alarm and asserted that the Service was law abiding and would not engage in such and subsequently adjourned to February, 2020.”
Afunanya stated that when SOWORE stepped out of the court and sighted operatives of the Service within the premises, he ran back into the courtroom.
He added that in a bid to shield him from an imaginary arrest, “his uncontrollable supporters mobbed him while chanting “you can’t arrest him” thus the pandemonium that ensued.”
The DSS emphasised in the release that was made available to the media on Saturday that eyewitness and several media accounts have disclosed that the Court had adjourned peacefully without an untoward incident “when suddenly the unruly crowd imported into the Courtroom went into frenzy on the mere suspicion that DSS was sighted at the court premises.
“The eventual re-arrest of Sowore by the DSS was effected outside the courtroom. His lead counsel has affirmed this.”
The DSS added that as a professional, responsible and law abiding Organization, it could not have invaded a courtroom including the one presided over by a respected Judge who it said is not only handling its case but whose Order was unconditionally obeyed within a 24 hour ultimatum.
“The Service holds the judiciary in utmost respect and will continue to work with it for national peace and public safety in Nigeria,” the release read.
The DSS stressed in the release that a critical look at the videos in circulation would convince any objective viewer that there was no DSS personnel during the entire period “Sowore crowd acted out its orchestrated drama.”
“Its personnel were never, at any time, involved in the incident. In actual fact, it was his people who seized him.
“And from the latest developments, it has become obvious what the intent for such mischief was meant for – simply to serve a propagandist purpose as well as bring the Service to disrepute.”
Afunanya said further in the release that it has therefore become unarguable and raises a moral question as to who, between Sowore and the Service, dislikes or disobeys the Courts.
“In this regard, public attention may be drawn to the 25th July 2019 statement of SOWORE that “I’m not talking of protest. I’m embarking on revolution… Don’t tell me about legal implications or what a Judge will say. I don’t care …” On 5th December when SOWORE was released, he had, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja addressed a group of persons who, he reassured of his cause to create anarchy in the country,” Afunanya said.
He recalled that the Service had on 3rd December, 2019 raised alarm about an alleged plot to destabilize the country.
“It is quite remarkable that the plot has already started playing out.
“To ensure this objective is further achieved, some persons and groups are scurrying to seize the opportunity of the misleading court incident and the wrong narrative against the DSS to organize an insurrection in the country.
“They have continued to falsely curry and mobilize international sentiments and attention, through clear misrepresentation of the facts, for their selfish ends.
“For emphasis, it should be noted that SOWORE is facing trial not as an activist, journalist or a politician, but for his resort to call for violence, forceful takeover of government and suspected transnational illegal activities.
“It is most unfortunate that SOWORE, shortly after being released from custody, based on court order, resorted to acts inimical to security.
“To this effect, only SOWORE has been re-arrested as his co-defendant, Olawale BAKARE, was not picked up even when FALANA had promised to deliver him to the Service that is not presently interested in him,” the DSS said in the release.
Abike Dabiri appeals to Nigerians in diaspora to be of good behaviour following the attack on Rotimi Amaechi in Spain
Abike Dabiri-Erewa has appealed to Nigerians in diaspora to be of good behaviour following the attack on Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi in Madrid, Spain.
Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO, NIDCOM, made the appeal in a statement released on Friday. She said such incidents tarnish the image of the country and other Nigerians living outside the country.
Dabiri-Erewa said: “NIDCOM appeals to Nigerians in diaspora to be of good behaviour wherever they are because such incidents tarnish the image of the country in their host countries.
“Also, such attitude has multiplier negative effects on Nigerians living in that country who are law-abiding.”
Dabiri- Erewa also applauded the prompt intervention of the Nigerian Mission in Spain and the Spanish police who ensured that the attack did not escalate.
Herdsman arrested for allegedly killing farmer in Ogun
The Ogun State police command has arrested a herder Muhammad Garba, for allegedly killing a farmer identified as Segun Akinlade in Imala community of Abeokuta North Local Government Area.
The herder reportedly got into a fight with the farmer who met him grazing his cows at his newly-cleared farmland.
Police spokesperson, Abimbola Oyeyemi who confirmed the incident said the suspect attacked the farmer with a cutlass after being struck by a stone fired from a catapult the farmer used in scaring him.
“In order to chase him away, he used a catapult to scare the intruder, but the catapult stone hit the herdsman on the forehead.
“This infuriated the suspect who brought out a cutlass to fight the deceased who was also with a cutlass,” the police spokesman said.
“The two of them used cutlass on each other resulting to the death of the deceased. The corpse of deceased has been deposited in the mortuary for autopsy,” he said.
“On getting to the scene, the corpse of the deceased was met on the ground while the suspect who also sustained machete cut injuries was identified and promptly arrested,” Mr Oyeyemi added.
Garba has been transferred to homicide section of the state criminal investigation and intelligence department for further investigation and prosecution.
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