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N-Power And Its Bitter-Sweet Experience

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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.

 

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NAHCO Says Strike Didn’t Cause Major Business Loss, Plans Salary Increment Dialogue With Workers

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The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) has stated that the industrial action recently embarked on by airport workers did not cause a great loss in the sector.

It assured that negotiations on the agitation for salary increment for workers would begin on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 to Saturday, January 28th, 2023.

Investors King recalls that in the early hours of Monday, January 23, 2023, both local and international airports were shut down and flights grounded due to the strike of some aviation workers but at about 3pm that same day, the strike was called off and work continued. 

In a press statement obtained by Investors King on Wednesday, signed by the Company Secretary, Dikko & Mahmoud Solicitors, Bello Abdullahi, clarifications were presented on what transpired.

Abdullahi explained that the industrial action was embarked on by some members of staff of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association (ATTSSSAN) to request for salary increase and protest NAHCO Management as touching their demands.

According to him, their action was in violation of the pronouncement by the National Industrial Court on 20th January 2023.

“The withdrawal of services by the striking workers led to NAHCO Plc’s inability to provide service to our client airlines. The resultant effect was that scheduled flights were unable to operate from our airport stations across the country, thereby leaving passengers stranded across the various airports,” he stated.

Abdullahi disclosed that a meeting was held by the NAHCO Plc management, the affected unions, the Federal Airport Authority (FAAN), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Department of State Security (DSS) and other stakeholders at NAHCO Plc Head Office in Lagos on Monday.

He highlighted the resolutions enacted at the meeting as:

  1. The discontinuance of the suit filed against the NUATE and ATTSSSAN unions at the National Industrial Court.
  2.  Issuance of a counteroffer to the Union’s demands by the NAHCO Plc Management before close of business of Monday, January 23, 2023.
  3.  Commencement of negotiations on salary increment on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 and conclusion by Saturday, January 28th, 2023.
  4.  The immediate resumption of all staff to work.
  5. Non-victimization of staff due to participation in the strike action.

The Company Secretary then assured the public and shareholders of the organisation’s commitment to quality delivery of aviation services.

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DLM Capital Group Sponsors Employee’s Philanthropic Projects

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DLM Capital Group

DLM Capital Group, a development investment bank, partnered with the Shile Akinjo Charity Foundation (SACF) on two of its charity initiatives: “Love Feast on the Street” and “Back-to-School Project.”

Shile Akinjo, a corporate finance associate at DLM, started SACF in 2022 to support low-income families and the less privileged to fight poverty, receive decent health care, and achieve a basic education.

The “Love Feast on the Street” was held on the 17th of December 2022 to celebrate Christmas with over 400 kids at Makoko Slum, Yaba, Lagos. The day’s highlights include face painting, a dance competition, popcorn, food, drinks, and the gifting of party packs to the kids.

The “Back-to-School Project” was held on the 20th of January 2023, at The Light School and Boanerges School at Akesan, Alimosho, local government. All the pupils in basic 1–5 were given school supplies such as school bags, socks, notebooks, pencils, biros, erasers, rulers, crayons, water bottles, and snacks.

Shile Akinjo commented on the initiative, stating, “Happiness is as essential as food if a child is to develop into normal manhood or womanhood.” Being able to put smiles on these kids’ faces is fulfilling, and we will continue to carry out initiatives that support these goals. I am grateful to Mr. Sonnie Ayere and DLM Capital Group for their full commitment to these projects. I feel lucky to work for a company that supports and encourages its employees to do good things for the community.

In a statement highlighting DLM’s sponsorship of the projects, Chinwendu Ohakpougwu, Head of Corporate Communications, said: “At DLM, we are committed to impacting human lives. The management of DLM will continue to support good causes that promote the welfare of others.”

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Passengers Stranded as Local, International Airports Officials Embark on Strike

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In the early hours of Monday, aircraft commuters were stranded as the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) commenced industrial action over workers’ salary increase.

Investors King reports that several local and international airports were closed down leaving the passengers outside and unattended to.

This was observed at Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two, (MMA2) Lagos, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Air France/KLM, Qatar, Ethiopian Airlines, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish Air and some others where NAHCO handles check-in, boarding and ramp services.

Passengers have lamented the situation, saying that no information, notice nor emails were sent to them to inform them ahead.

One of the international airport customers, Alex Nwuba who already booked a flight to Qatar, said he was disappointed when a member of NAHCO staff told them that they will not attend to any passenger because they are on strike.

He said the Qatar flight he ought to board already landed in the morning but has flown to Doha since there is no body to handle it.

Travellers whose flights have been delayed or rescheduled called for urgent attention to forestall further grounding of flights.

Investors King learnt that the NAHCO management had a meeting with its staff on Sunday before embarking on the strike action on Monday. 

According to an aviation analyst, Daniel Young, the situation will result in enormous financial losses by passengers if not solved timely.

“These individuals who pepertrate these actions are obviously oblivious of the long term efffects of some of those insensitive decisions they take. This behaviour by NACHO staff portrays the company as one whose self distruct code is activated. Even more so, it affects the overall perception of the country and the aviation industry,” he said.

Young urged the federal government to intervene before the matter gets out of hand as the country is currently going through a lot.

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