N-Power beneficiaries under the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme (SIP) on Tuesday, November 12 has appealed to Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari led the Federal Government to ensure timely payment of their monthly stipends to enhance their performance and productivity.
Some of the beneficiaries, in separate interviews, told Newsflash247 in Akure, commended the federal government for initiating the programme, saying it had transformed their lives tremendously.
They, however, decried the recent development in the delay in payment of their monthly stipends and urged the government to address their plight.
Mr Adefemi Gabriel, N-Power Teach, told Newsflash247 that payment of their stipends had always been delayed since July 2019, saying their October stipend had yet to be paid.
“Our hope was dashed during the Muslim of El- Eid-el-Maulud celebration because our October stipend was not paid even till now. We felt disappointed.
“We are calling on the attention of Sadia Umar Farouq, the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs who is now in-charge of N-power to intervene so that our stipends can be timely paid,’’ Gabriel said.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Seyi Adewale, said: “we don’t know why our stipend is being delayed now, unlike when we use to get it the same time federal workers get their salaries.
“We want the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs to speak to us on the matter because we are hearing a rumour that the federal government wants to discontinue the programme,’’ she said.
On his part, Mr Usman Abdullahi, N-Power Agro, told Newsflash247 that the delay in payment of his stipend was affecting his fishery business.
“ It is unfortunate I cannot get cash to buy a fish meal for the fish.
“We are appealing to the federal government to help us to look into the matter and ensure regular and timely payment of our stipend,’’ Abdullahi said.
The beneficiaries, however, commended the Federal Government, especially the vice president, for ensuring optimum transparency in the programme which had made the children of nobody benefit optimally from the initiative.
Speaking to NAN on the issue, Mr Femi Bolaji, the Unit Head of N-Power Programme in Kogi, urged the beneficiaries to be patient, assuring them that everything would soon be normalised.
Bolaji told NAN that the beneficiaries had also been coming to their office to make enquiries on why their stipends were being delayed, noting that payment was made directly from Abuja and not at the state level.
“Honestly, payment is made directly from Abuja. N-Power beneficiaries have been making enquiries on their own as to the reason for the delay in the payment of their stipends.
“Abuja has always been responsive and told the beneficiaries to exercise patience.
“My thinking is that since the new ministers and special advisers are to be appointed, processing of such huge bill in excess of N15 billion monthly for beneficiaries nationwide might not be as smooth as it should be, compared to when ministers, special advisers and SSAs were on the ground.
“Effort is on to contact the national office to send out a public announcement regarding this recent delay in payment of stipends for N-Power beneficiaries,’’ he said.