The Federal government has announced that about 500,000 persons engaged in Nigeria’s Social Investment Programme, N-Power, has set to terminate their existing engagement, saying, they’re denying other Nigerians an opportunity to access the programme and gain skills for entrepreneurship and employment.
Their current engagement, spokesperson for the Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Ministry, Rhoda Iliya, said in a statement has contributed to “the administration’s vision of lifting 100 million people out of poverty by creating opportunities to enhance the productivity of the Nigerian youth.”
The programme has enrolled 500,000 beneficiaries thus far – 200,000 from Batch A which started in September 2016 and 300,000 from Batch B which kicked off in August 2018.
The beneficiaries were supposed to spend 24 months on the programme but Batch A beneficiaries have spent over 40 months.
“Both Batches will soon be terminated according to the (press) release for the reasons given in the (press) release,” Salisu Na’inna Danbatta, the special adviser on media to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Minister, Sadiya Farouq, The Guardian reports.
The statements were signed by Iliya.
Iliya said in one of the statements that the current beneficiaries have overstayed in the programme “thereby denying other Nigerians an opportunity to access the programme and gain skills for entrepreneurship and employment.”
When eventually disengaged, the number of people that will be rendered jobless will compound Nigeria’s already bad unemployment figures.
The last official figures released by Nigeria’s statistics office put the unemployment rate at 23.1%. Labour minister Chris Ngige said that figure could rise to 33.5 this year.
Several beneficiaries in Lagos said that there were rumours that Batch A may be exited any time after May and Batch B will be exited shortly after, The Guardian reports.
Although Illiya confirmed that the government is working on the exit for the beneficiaries, she did not give a specific date or month.
“The first and second batch, they are still working on their exit,” Illiya told our correspondent, “There is no specific date.”