N-Power stipends hits N279 Billion, says Presidency

The Presidency, yesterday, disclosed that the federal government has so far expended a total N279billion as stipends for Nigerian youths drawn under the N-Power programme introduced in December 2016.

It said it was also collaborating with the leadership of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) to provide the needed data of qualified N-Power trainees for engagement in the proposed Community Policing Programme.

N-Power scheme is one of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) introduced by the Buhari administration aimed at job creation for the teeming youths and ameliorating poverty in the country.

The Federal Government and NGF recently proposed to recruit N-Power cadets, whose two-year service is coming to an end, to boost the manpower requirements of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF).

To this end, President Muhammadu Buhari urged state governors and the security chiefs to work out the modalities for the takeoff date as well as a draft plan of action.

Chairman of NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, had revealed that both parties felt the recruitment of 10,000 policemen was necessary to tackle the dearth of security operatives in the country.

Briefing newsmen on recent developments in the programme, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, Office of the Vice President, Afolabi Imoukhuede, said the N279billion was spent to facilitate payment of the N30, 000 monthly stipends to the 500,000 youths currently under the program, dismissing speculations that the scheme was heavily indebted to some of those engaged.

He said the first batch of 200,000 youths has earned a total of N180billion for 30 months from December 2016 to last month, with a monthly bill of N6billion.

He further disclosed that an additional N9billion monthly bill was paid from August last year to last month, totaling N99billion for the second batch of 300,000 youths engaged under the scheme.

He explained the scheme was designed to solve the employability problems being faced by Nigerians youths after graduation.

On the planned community-policing programme, Imoukhuede said: “We know the security challenges we have and we also know the challenges and limitations of the Nigeria Police Force.

“We know that they wanted to recruit another 10,000, but the governors felt as Chief Security Officers (CSOs) of their states, 10,000 in the whole of Nigeria is small.

“So, they thought we have N-Power volunteers that are community-based. The beauty of this programme is that it is so transformational, because they impact their community where they reside, unlike the NYSC where you are yanked from your base and taken somewhere else.” (THE GUARDIAN(