The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investment, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, has said the National Social Investment Office has an exit plan for N-Power beneficiaries.
Uwais told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Abuja that the plans were worked out ”long before the programme was moved to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster and Social Development,” NAN reports.
“We have had meetings with the Central Bank of Nigeria on different loan options for the N-Power beneficiaries after exiting the scheme.
“We have discussed with the Minister of Finance on some funding via the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.
“We have also met with state governors to employ beneficiaries from their own states. The goal is to give N-Power beneficiaries a smooth exit on graduation,” she said.
She said that she had briefed the humanitarian affairs minister and also stressed the need to meet with the Minister of Finance to actualise the plans.
The presidential aide dismissed reports claiming that the Social Investment Programmes would be restructured.
“The National Social Investment Office is not aware of any plan to restructure or frustrate the programmes.
“Our operations have been very transparent. For every payment to the beneficiaries of all the social investment programmes, the ministry is fully involved in all the processes,” she said.
According to her, the programmes were under the Ministry of Budget and National Planning before they were moved to the new ministry.
Meanwhile, Newsflash247 had earlier reported on Monday that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq had said the retention of N-Power beneficiaries who should have exited was responsible for the delay of payment of the stipends of the beneficiaries for October and November.
Her comment was against the backdrop of rumours that the delay in the monthly payments to N-Power beneficiaries was because the government plans to drop them without an appropriate disengagement package for them.
The N-Power programme kicked off in 2016 with over 200,000 young Nigerians selected in the first phase. The beneficiaries were to have dropped out of the scheme after two years of internship.
In a press briefing on Monday, the minister lamented that the administrators of the scheme did not make an exit plan for the beneficiaries who ought to have ”exited the programme 16 months” ago.
”N-Power beneficiaries enrolled in 2016 are yet to be exited 16 months after the elapse of their contract; they are supposed to have been graduated to a more productive venture; That the Ministry is currently making efforts to develop an exit strategy, which is non-existent,” Mrs Farouq said.