Buhari approves ‘enhanced’ N-Power scheme, says Imoukhuede
The Nigerian government has provided new details, albeit sparse, about the ‘N-Power enhancement’ earlier announced for some beneficiaries of the social intervention programme dubbed: N-Power.
The federal government had in a communique in October revealed that it is set for an enhancement programme for the 2016 N-power programme beneficiaries.
Afolabi Imoukhuede, Job Creation and Youth Employment and the National Coordinator of the Federal Government Social Investment Programme, N-Power, he explained during a Facebook Live broadcast that the N-power enhancement has begun and it will see the 2016 beneficiaries continue with the various programs.
“Mr President has agreed and he did say you will continue in your enhancement journey, and I did then say you will continue to work while you earn,” Imoukhuede said.
“In a few days or weeks time, we will let you know of the various enhancement engagements process that you will be engaging in with your state government, with the private sector and other stakeholders,” he added.
He did not mention if there would be an increase in the stipend being paid to the beneficiaries and was not specific on how long the ‘enhancement’ will last.
The 2016 beneficiaries had complained that the government has not been particularly forthright with the necessary information to quell any form of scepticism that may arise from the public about the “N-power enhance”.
Some 2016 beneficiaries who spoke with The Guardian said the scant details of the enhancement scheme are a telling sign and that the contract length could depend on how the election swings.
“That is our concern now,” said a beneficiary in Osun state, who also pleaded anonymity. “It is like they want to use us for elections. If they want to use us for election they should be truthful”.
Nigeria heads to polls in February.
The ruling All Progressives Congress, with President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo seeking re-election in 2019, have boldly campaigned using the scheme with claims to tackling unemployment despite the increase in unemployment rate from 18.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 to 23.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018.