The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development on Saturday announced that it had concluded payment of April 2020 stipends to NPower beneficiaries.
The Minister Sadiya Farouq, announced this in a statement and also explained the reason for the delay in payment of April Stipend.
She said her ministry encountered problems with the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS). The release was not specific on the type of problem the ministry encountered.
“We encountered some delays on the GIFMIS platform but I can now announce that all N-Power beneficiaries from Batch A and B have been paid their April stipends,” said the Minister.
The minister’s comments came against the backdrop of enrollees clamouring for their April payment since the announcement of the lockdown in some states due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Farouq also disclosed plans by the ministry to streamline the entire programme for better efficiency as soon as it pays May stipend.
She added the action would also provide opportunities for other beneficiaries to enroll into the programme.
About 200,000 young beneficiaries selected in 2016, under Batch A, were to have been dropped out of the scheme after two years of internship.
There had been controversies between Ms Farouq and President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Social Investment, Maryam Uwais, about the exit package for the Batch A volunteers as each traded blame on who was responsible for the delay in disengaging the beneficiaries.
The minister had blamed the National Social Investment Office (NSIO), under Mrs Uwais for having no viable plan for the exit of the beneficiaries.
In reaction, Mrs Uwais said her administrators had made ‘exit plans’ which had not been implemented before the office was moved under the leadership of Ms Farouq. She also said she had briefed Mrs Farouq on those plans.
President Buhari in his Independence Day speech had announced the transfer of the NSIPs from the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the newly-created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development .
“We are working hard to streamline the programme for greater efficiency and to provide opportunities for more Nigerian youths. Details will be provided as soon as May stipend has been paid.
“The beneficiaries were supposed to spend 24 months on the programme but Batch A beneficiaries have spent over 40 months thereby denying other Nigerians an opportunity to access the programme and gain skills for entrepreneurship and employment,” Mrs Farouq said.