The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, says no fewer than 109,823 beneficiaries of the N-Power Programme are now business owners.
Farouq, in a statement on Saturday in Abuja by her Special Assistant on Strategic Communication, Mrs Halima Oyelade, said the beneficiaries of Batch A and B of N-Power have established businesses in their communities.
“Statistics like this gives me joy and once again, I want to say congratulations; I look forward to hearing amazing testimonies and meeting beneficiaries of this programme who will be doing great things in the future”.
The minister reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years by creating opportunities to enhance the productivity of Nigerian youths for entrepreneurship or employment.
Farouq stressed that the vision was imperative because youths represented 70 million of the Nigerian Population while youth unemployment stood at over 20 per cent with 4.5 million entering the job market annually.
“Thus, the need to find ways to engage them is of utmost importance.
“However, the commencement of the enrolment of Batch C was predicated on the need to give more Nigerian youths the opportunity to benefit.
“This is because, keeping only 500,000 beneficiaries for four years defeats the purpose of Mr President’s vision, hence the need to scale up and was in no way meant to be punitive,” she said.
Farouq thanked the beneficiaries while acknowledging the contributions and efforts of those who commenced the programme before it was transferred to the ministry.
She noted that it was a collective team effort and would continue to be so.
‘’You are our model N-Power beneficiaries. Please avail yourselves of all opportunities provided by government like interest free loans and leverage on those opportunities while using N-Power as a stepping stone”.
The minister said challenges facing the programme include delays in the payment of stipends, beneficiaries not showing up at their places of primary assignments and people accessing the programme while gainfully employed elsewhere.
“However, we are frantically working to resolve them”.
The minister also assured beneficiaries that outstanding payments would be made and transition plans were ongoing and would be duly communicated to them on their platform.
Also, according to the statement, some of the beneficiaries of the programme gave glowing testimonials.
It said Ms Angela Nabu, a graduate of Agriculture from Ladoke Akintola University, was enrolled into the programme without knowing anyone or connected to anyone.
‘I gained practical experience working with the Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme, Ilaro Zone.
“I was able to save some money from the stipends to start my own fish farm.
“Today I have 12 ponds. I have people working for me and I have trained one IT student and I am willing to train more,” Nabu said.
Similarly, Mr Saddiq Mustapha, a beneficiary from Katsina State and graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, said he was idle after his one year mandatory National Youth Service to the nation.
“By virtue of the experience gained and training in video production and editing, I was able to set up a multimedia company and run the largest online media business in the state with thousands of followers,” he said.
Mr Ali Dapil from Plateau, living with dissability, said he had gone through a lot of discrimination.
However, he applied for N- Teach and was sent to Gindiri as his Primary place of Assignment. He was also provided a device to aid him.
They all expressed their gratitude to the Federal Government for the opportunity.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
N-Power: No plan to absorb beneficiaries into Civil Service, says FG
Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, says the Federal Government has no plan at the moment to absorb beneficiaries of the N-Power Programme into the Federal Civil Service
Farouq, in a statement by the Deputy Director in the Ministry, Mrs Rhoda Ilaya, on Saturday, said that Nigerians should be wary of fake news about absorption of N-Power beneficiaries Batch A into the Federal Civil Service.
“The attention of the Ministry has been drawn to the fake news trending on social media that President Muhammadu Buhari will on June 12 broadcast to the nation the absorption of N-POWER Volunteers Batch A, into the Federal Civil Service.
“The Ministry is hereby calling on the public to disregard the message and consider it as fake news.
“Any information on N-Power or the National Social Investment Programme will be issued through the appropriate channels,” the minister said.
Power: Senate probes N1.8trn intervention fund
The Senate is probing over N1.8 trillion Federal Government interventions in the Power Sector since privatisation of the sector from 2012 to date.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Sen. Gabriel Suswam made this known at a meeting with members of the Committee on Thursday in Abuja.
The chairman, who said that the three-day hearing would begin next week, recalled that the Senate had a motion on the floor where the committee was mandated based on that motion to investigate comprehensively the power sector, especially in areas as it related to the intervention.
Suswam said that the Committee would investigate all interventions in the sector since the privatisation of the sector to date with a view to ascertaining the adequacy of such interventions and their desired impact.
“We are looking at the intervention and whether corporate governance had been introduced since privatisation because the expectation is that the sector will become efficient, unfortunately that is not the case.
“All of these monies were Federal Government interventions in the power sector with the intention and hope that the power sector will become efficient and Nigerians will have access to electricity.
“Unfortunately, in spite of these huge amount of monies that have been expended, the result in what we see today is that the performance is below expectations,” Suswam added.
He however noted that the investigation would not be punitive, but intended to identify the reasons for efficiency and under performance in terms of unstable and inadequate electricity supply in the sector in spite of the huge financial interventions by government.
Suswam said other objectives of the investigation was to assist President Muhammadu Buhari to achieve his promise to Nigerians of providing them with adequate and stable power supply.
“The investigation is intended to identify why this interventions have come and there has been no improvement.
“This is so that at the end of the day, the leadership of the Senate will present that to the President of this country, who has shown a lot commitment to providing electricity to Nigerians,” he said.
He listed those agencies to appear before the committee to include Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) because most of the interventions of government came from these two bodies.
Others, Suswam said are the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and Presidential Power Initiative among others.
Gov. Sule lauds FG for approving funds for Farin-Ruwa Hydro Power project
Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State has commended the Federal Government for approving over N8 billion for the completion of Farin-Ruwa multi purpose hydro power project in Wamba Local Area of the state.
Sule noted that the Dam, which has the capacity to generate 20 megawatts of electricity, has been taken over by the federal government.
He said expected the power generated from the dam has the capacity to serve the people of Wamba, Akwanga and Keffi Local Government Areas of the state and beyond.
“The project was started by the first executive governor of the state, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, he said, adding that his administration continued with it before the fedeal government took over the project.
“Government is a continuum; my predecessor started the project and I continued it before it was taken over; that is the beauty of government.
“Government is a continuum and a lot of government resources have been spent on the projects by the former governor,” Sule added.
He also expressed gratitude to the federal governent for taking over the construction of 15 kilometre Sisinbaki-Farin Ruwa road.
He described federal government’s attention on the projects as unprecedented considering the rich potentials endowed in the area, especially the Farin Ruwa Dam which has the capacity to generate 20 megawatts of electricity and other tourist attractions.
He specifically thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the release of N8 billion for the execution of the two projects, adding that it will boost socio-economic activities in the area.
Minister of Power sacks TCN MD, Abdulaziz takes over
The Minister of Power, Mr Mamman Sale, on Tuesday announced the sack of Mr Usman Mohammed, as the Managing Director of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) with immediate effect.
Sale, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Mr Aaron Atimas, in Abuja, said it was part of the continued measures to reposition and improve performance of the nation’s power sector.
The minister also announced other major changes at the TCN, including the appointment of Mr Sule Abdulaziz, as his replacement in acting capacity.
Sale also confirmed the appointment of four directors who have been on acting position in the company.
They are: Mr Victor Adewumi as Executive Director, Transmission Services Provider; Mr M Lawal, Executive Director, Independent Systems Operator; Mr Ahmed lsa-Dutse, Executive Director, Finance & Accounts; and Mr Justin Dodo, Executive Director, Human Resources & Corporate Services.
The minister said that all the changes/appointments had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)