N-POWER was initiated to be a solution provider to curb the high rate of unemployment and poverty in Nigeria. However, so far, it has been a bitter-sweet experience for beneficiaries of the programme.
Investors King gathered that the monthly stipends of these beneficiaries are now unable to meet up with the economic situations in the country.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, under the Social Investment Programme (SIP) and through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, had said the programme was built to address the issues of youth unemployment and help increase social development, targeting youths between the ages of 18 and 35. Designed to be community-based, the exercise is to allow one million volunteers in different streams of batches.
Affirming this, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Faroug had said: “It is a well-known fact that N-Power programme is a critical part of the National Social Investment Programmes domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD) and designed to achieve the national objectives of poverty reduction and job creation”.
With the national minimum wage standing at N30, 000, N-Power beneficiaries are usually paid the sum of N30,000 monthly.
However, during the 2022 Worker’s Day celebration, Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki approved N40, 000 minimum wage for Edo state workers. The governor said the decision was to “cushion the hardship being experienced by the workers, particularly the effects of rising food prices.”
Investors King recalls that in the fourth quarter of 2015, prior to the commencement of the programme, unemployment rate in Nigeria was 12.1 per cent. However, in 2018, the rate rose to 14.23 per cent.
Currently, unemployment rate in Nigeria stands at 33.3 per cent while youth underemployment is at 42.5 per cent.
In 2021, Farouq stated that the Federal Government has approved an additional 400,000 youths have been approved for the Batch C1 programme. Since this announcement, beneficiaries have not been able to register for this Batch C2.
Several reasons have been responsible for this, from wrong deployment of Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) to delay in monthly payment.
N-POWER had severally apologised to beneficiaries over the non-payment of their stipends. It had earlier said on its official Facebook page that payment for Batch C1 have been initiated and crediting of accounts will begin, including outstanding payments.
But later, N-Power posted that network glitch was responsible for the subsequent delay.
“We did not intentionally redeployed N-power Batch C1 Beneficiaries, not at this point.
Therefore, the sudden CHANGE OF PPA and all PROCESSING PAYMENT recently changed to FAILED reading system error as encountered was as a result of NETWORK FAILURE.
“There is no cause for Alarm as our team are working to rectify it. Once that is done, your payment will be reinitiated. Please be patient,” N-Power said.
However, different reactions trailed this latest announcement. To many beneficiaries of the programme, a delay in the payment of their stipends amounts to delay for the Batch C 2 intakes.
One of the beneficiaries, SAYEDADAMADAMS said: “Why is it that the same network glitch did not fail and make their five-months paid into their accounts.”
Others lamented that the N30,000 stipend has not been able to sort their expenses due to the growing economic challenges in Nigeria.
One of the beneficiaries, Oluwafunmilayo Oluwatobi Adegun told BBC that the stipend is small, adding that the government is supposed to increase the stipend from N30, 000 as that the amount has not been able to solve anything in this country.
She said: “Many of the beneficiaries have families that depends on them to pay school fees.”
She further faulted government’s decision to disengage N-Power beneficiaries after their expiration of one year and advised that they should provide other engagements for beneficiaries.
“Government is supposed to put concrete plans in place so that the beneficiaries will not be stranded after the programme. N-Power without proper exit plan is meaningless,” she continued.
JJC Skillz Announces Separation From Funke Akindele After 6 Years of Marriage
Abdulrasheed Bello, popularly known as JJC Skillz, has announced separation from his wife the popular Nollywood actress, Funke Akindele.
JJC Skillz, disclosed the marriage separation via a post on his official Instagram page in the early hours of Thursday.
“Dear Friends and family, I need to let you know that Funke and I have separated. While it lasted, we shared a lot of things together and have created two beautiful children.
“The last two years have been extremely difficult for us. I know I have tried my best to fix things but I believe it is beyond repair now.
“Three months ago and at Funke’s insistence, I moved out of the house and apart from AMVCA have not been able to get Funke to sit down in an amicable manner to discuss the future of our relationship.
“I’m making this announcement so that the public is clear that we both are pursuing separate lives.
“We still have issues that need to be addressed such as the custody and wellbeing of our children which is paramount as well as business interests which need to be disentangled but I have no doubt that these will be resolved one way or the other.”
JJC and Funke Akindele got married in 2016 and welcomed a set of twins in 2018. The marriage lasted for six years.
Recall that the celebrity couple had earlier disputed a rumored breakup on Father’s Day, June 19. Funke had celebrated JJC Skillz on Father’s Day.
“Happy Father’s Day darling!!! Thank you so much for being a wonderful and caring father. We love you God bless you more Baba Ibeji of life!” she wrote at the time.
Commenting on the post, JJC reacted with: “Awwwww thank you darling, God bless and protect us #familyfirst #thebellos.”
However, in his post announcing their separation, the rapper and movie producer said the last two years had been difficult and that Funke Akindele asked him to move out of their home three months ago.
IATA Kicks as FG Excludes Foreign Airlines from Priority Forex List
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Sunday kicked against the Federal Government of Nigeria’s decision to exclude foreign airlines from its priority list when approving forex requests.
The association made this known at the 78th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit held in Doha, Qatar on Sunday.
Speaking at the event, Kamil Al-Alawadhi the Regional Vice President for Africa & Middle East, IATA, said the decision to not prioritize the aviation sector, especially foreign airlines in forex requests was unacceptable, adding that the move could hurt the nation’s aviation industry.
According to him, blocked foreign airline funds in Nigeria stood at an estimated $208 million in the third quarter of 2021 and by the first quarter of 2022, this has risen to $283 million.
This Alawadhi said the Federal Government must start working on reducing as the aviation sector is a crucial sector of the economy responsible for thousands of job creation and it will be wrong to deny foreign airlines the opportunity to repatriate their revenue.
He, however, said officials of the association would visit Nigeria soon to discuss the matter, Investors King understands.
The IATA VP said, “Nigeria needs to start reducing the backlog. The Central Bank of Nigeria was not forthcoming on the blocked funds. It is sad that Nigeria owes the bulk of the entire blocked funds. This is very unacceptable”.
“We heard that there is a shortage of dollars. It has been a hectic ride. We met with the Vice-President. We will keep checking. This is going to damage the image of the country. We are hoping that it will go down well. The figure is huge”.
However, the issue was a result of a chronic forex shortage that have seen foreign exchange demand risen to a record-high and pushed the Naira to Dollar exchange rate to N610/$ at the black market despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s efforts at converging rates.
Transforming Job Seekers to Sustainable Job Creators
What is the Nexus Project?
The Nexus is a virtual platform that de-isolates young entrepreneurs and connects them to an ecosystem of knowledge intervention and technical support services. It is designed to improve the chances of building sustainable businesses, thereby improving the conversion rate of job seekers into job creators and reducing the failure rate of start-ups in the context.
The Nexus platform will have the following features:
- The Investment Readiness Map (IRM) – a personalized mapping of enrolled entrepreneurs’ learner journey. It is a market-driven narrative articulating the entrepreneur’s journey from ‘unlocked’ assets to investable and sustainable ventures. The IRM is expected to embed an Investment Readiness Scorecard capable of identifying investor-proof knowledge gaps and learning needs of enrolled entrepreneurs. This will then inform the knowledge and industry interventions to be delivered across the project timeframe.
- (A) Academic institutions’ content delivery capability to deliver knowledge intervention throughout the project based on the identified knowledge gaps learning needs.
- (B) Personal Development and Wellbeing component that addresses the individual development and wellness of the founders throughout their journey.
- Comprehensive coaching and mentoring programme aimed at connecting the target youth to technical knowledge and expertise
- An investment hub designed to showcase investors for investment-ready entrepreneurs to secure investments for their viable businesses or products.
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