The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the indefinite suspension of the N-Power program, a youth empowerment initiative aimed at addressing unemployment and fostering social development.
The announcement was made by Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, during an appearance on a Saturday TVC news program.
Minister Edu cited irregularities within the program as the primary reason for this decision.
One of the key issues highlighted by the Minister is the presence of beneficiaries who are absent from their designated work locations but still expect to receive their monthly allowances.
Some beneficiaries, according to her, should have exited the program in 2022 but are still on the payroll, raising questions about the accuracy of fund utilization.
“We must go back to look into N-Power and understand what the problems are so we will basically suspend the program for now until we are done with a proper investigation into the utilization of funds in the N-Power program,” Minister Edu stated.
The government’s investigation aims to determine the current number of program participants, assess outstanding payment obligations, and identify those who may no longer be actively engaged in their designated roles.
Furthermore, Edu revealed that the N-Power program would undergo a comprehensive restructuring and expansion, suggesting that the government is committed to addressing the issues and potentially relaunching the program in the future.
The N-Power program, initiated by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016, was designed to tackle youth unemployment and enhance social development. It was open to both unemployed graduates and non-graduates aged between 18 and 35.
The program’s primary goal was to equip young Nigerians with the skills and certifications required to thrive in the modern global economy.