The federal government has told the exiting Batch A and B of N-Power volunteers that it cannot afford their demand of N600,000 each.
Rhoda Ishaku Iliya, the Deputy Director (Information) Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, made this known in a statement on Friday.
Okay.ng recalls that some N-Power beneficiaries staged a protest at the National Assembly Thursday, demanding for payment of outstanding allowances owed them by the federal government, which they said run into months.
Reacting to the protest in a statement on Friday, the ministry noted that the protesters requested the federal government to employ all the 500,000 beneficiaries as well as pay them a grant of N600, 000 each, “which is not possible”.
The statement reads as follows: “The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, observed on Thursday 23rd of July 2020, a rally at the National Assembly which later proceeded to the Federal Secretariat Complex.
“The protesters claimed to be representatives of the Federal Government’s N-Power beneficiaries that are about to be exited. They requested the Federal Government to employ all the 500,000 beneficiaries as well as pay them a grant of N600, 000 each.
“The Ministry wishes to state that this demand was not part of the agreement of engagement they signed with the Federal Government, which clearly stipulated that they will be exited after 2 years.
“Furthermore, the government cannot afford the N300 billion they were asking for as grant. It is noteworthy to state that the FGN has expended hundreds of billions to N-Power beneficiaries during the last 4 years and is liaising with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, which is responsible for the payment of their stipends, to ensure that any outstanding legitimate claim is settled.
“The federal government cannot afford to continue to pay the exited N-Power beneficiaries stipends indefinitely, more so that the process of engagement of new beneficiaries has already began.
“The Ministry, even though it is not a lending agency, is in contact with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) such as CBN and NALDA, to see if the exited beneficiaries can key into their empowerment programmes.”