The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has directed the immediate termination of the partnership between the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme and Forcecom Networks Limited on the Graduate Internship Scheme. This is contained in a statement issued to journalists in Abuja on Thursday by the Communication Specialist to the SURE-P, Mr. Suleiman Haruna.
The statement said the minister further directed that the firm should be investigated by security agencies. The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the minister said the firm should be investigated for deploying interns to work on mobile money business months after they were deployed to the company. She also accused the firm for presenting time sheets, which showed that the interns had worked and requested payment of their monthly stipend when they did not work.
According to the statement, the GIS guidelines stipulated that interns should be paid for the number of days they worked every month. Okonjo-Iweala said the Managing Director of Forcecom Networks, Mr. Paul Okafor, coerced the interns to sign an undertaking to pay N7,500 out of their monthly stipend for training with the Lekki Business School. She also alleged that the company fraudulently convinced the graduates to register in January 2015 but set their hire date as November 2, 2014.