The National Social Investment Programmes NSIP (an initiative the N-Power scheme is one of it’s elements), which was formerly under the office of the vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and managed by Hajia Maryam Uwais, special adviser to the president on social intervention, was moved to the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management, and social development on October 1, 2019
After Concise News had suggested late last year that 2016 batch of the N-Power scheme will be exited, it has now credibly emerged that the Federal Government of Nigeria is genuinely set to disengage thousands of beneficiaries anytime from this moment.
According to Leadership Newspaper, the disengagement of the pioneer set of the famed scheme will take place between January and February this year.
The newspaper claim some officials of the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, operators of the scheme confirmed the development in Abuja on Wednesday.
As per the report, ‘the management of NSIO had already prepared an exit plan for the exiting beneficiaries after spending 16 extra months for the two-year programme.’
At a Press Briefing to respond to the nonpayment of stipends to N-Power beneficiaries in December 2019, Sadiya Umar Farouq, Nigeria’s Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHDSD) revealed that her ministry had been working on a transition program for those that are progressing out of the N-Power — after their 24 months in the scheme have elapsed.
Alongside this, “we are preparing to receive a new intake of participants in the program, who will then participate for 24 months before transitioning on to greater things”, she divulged at the press conference.
The latest report by Leadership Newspaper claim that the exit plan is currently waiting the approval of Zainab Ahmed, the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
What next after exit?
Commenting on the disengagement plan for the Batch A members, the source explained that the federal government is looking for a soft-landing for them, adding that the aim was to ensure that they were not pushed into the labour market without any empowerment.
Part of the plan, according to him, is to allow the participants access to loans of between N30,000 and N100,000 to start up small and medium scale businesses.
The source added that federal government officials were already meeting with the state governments that benefited from the N-Power Agro, N-Power Health, N-Power Teach, N-Power Community Education, and N-Power Health workers to absorb or engage those that had been productive.
It was also learnt that the government plans to liaise with private sector employers and other public institutions such as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the police to absorb some of them since they had acquired about three years’ experience in various areas.
Another source disclosed that the government plans to enlist some of them into the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) being run by the Bank of Industry (BoI) to give them loan facilities to own small enterprises, adding that the government has budget for GEEP in 2020.
If the arrangement works out, the affected youths will be able to access the loan under GEEP to be repaid like the Trader-Money initiative for small business owners.
The source said the plan will be presented to the minister of finance for approval this month for the exit plan to take effect.
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