‘Employment process for 200,000 graduates not fraudulent’
• Over 90% of beneficiaries have BVN clearance
The Federal Government yesterday assured that the process of engaging 200,000 graduates through its N-Power Volunteer Corps (NPVC) scheme is not fraudulent.
The Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, while giving an update on the scheme, explained that over 90 per cent of the 200,000 unemployed Nigerian graduates selected in the first batch have been verified using the Bank Verification Number (BVM).
He also explained that by using the BVN, which is, one of the most viable means of identification in the country today, there is hardly any way anything fraudulent can sail through in the process.
According to him, the scheme has advanced with assignment of beneficiaries to their places of deployments in their states of residence.
He added that only authentic and verifiable beneficiaries will be paid the N30,000 monthly stipends starting December.
Akande who referred to a recent BBC report on the testimonials of some of the selected Nigerian graduates noted that “it is most gladdening that those who were selected are now telling the stories of how they have not been employed for years, but now grateful to the President for this initiative.”
Some of them, according to the report noted that even though they knew no one in government, they were selected for the paid volunteer job program, attesting to the transparency of the selection process.
The Senior Special Assistant stated that all the states and the FCT through the focal persons they appointed have since received the list of the 200,000, and currently working on deploying the beneficiaries to their places of assignment.
Speaking further on the selected process, the SSA Media explained that the selection was not only fair and done transparently, but also with adequate care.
“Firstly, 40 per cent of those who applied for the N-Power Teach and Agric were selected, and 50 per cent of those who applied for the Health category, all based on an assessment test.
“Then to mitigate the adverse socio-economic circumstances in the North- East an additional 4800 applicants from the region were selected with Borno State getting 1200 and Adamawa, Yobe, Taraba 800 each and Bauchi and Gombe 600 each.
“Also to bolster states with low application numbers, an additional 4208 was selected and shared between Bayelsa, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States. The Federal Ministry of Agric also additionally allocated 6799 applicants in the Agric category to all states across specific crop, fish and livestock targets in order to support government’s self-sufficiency target in Agric produce.”
He noted that gender and disability factor were also key in the selection, adding that 46 per cent of the beneficiaries are females, while a total of 1126 were successful applicants with disabilities.
Akande assured that those not selected in the first batch are now in the waiting list until the subsequent batches when they would be considered again, since there are still 300,000 to be selected under this budget cycle.
On why the selection process was based on states of residence rather than states of origin, Akande said: “For example, over 42,000 Nigerians applied for the N-Power from Lagos but only 3568 of them originate from Lagos.
“Would it then be tenable to say almost 40,000 Bona fide Nigerians who are applicants resident in Lagos should just forget it since they are resident but not origins of the Lagos State.”