The Federal Government (FG) has again denied the fraud allegations raised against N-Power, the job creation and empowerment initiative of the Social Investment Programme (SIP). The scheme has been dragged into application scandal several times.
While distancing the empowerment programme from fraud and corruption claims, the FG said such narratives were being driven by individuals who were pessimistic towards the social intervention programme of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
In a statement made public by the Communications Manager, National Social Investment Office (NSIO), Justice Bibiye, the government said the allegations arose due to a strict system that stands against selfish tendencies and corrupt practices at the NSIO, and it owed Nigerians a duty to set the record straight as regards happenings of N-Power.
“We are aware that some persons have assumed the role of perpetual pessimists of the Social Intervention Programme following the institution of processes and procedures that frown on selfish tendencies and corrupt practices at the NSIO.
“We, however, owe it a duty to Nigerians to continue to set the records straight whenever naysayers come up with falsehoods to mislead the public.
“We wish to state categorically that there are no N-Power ghost beneficiaries neither is the programme embroiled in corruption as alleged by those who have decided to see nothing good in the scheme.”
The government was forced to deny a similar accusation in 2016 following claims that some unscrupulous people might have infiltrated the scheme to defraud it. The Office of the Vice President, which oversees N-Power debunked the claim, stating that the beneficiaries were verified with Bank Verification Number (BVN).
FG sacked 2,525 N-Power beneficiaries: The empowerment programme which targets unemployed Nigerians disengaged 2525 beneficiaries in late July for absconding from their Places of Primary Assignment (PPA) for a long time. The government said beneficiaries were undermining the scheme which is not a charity programme.
N-Power’s employment scorecard: According to President Buhari, his administration has employed about two million Nigerians within the past three years through the empowerment programme, and as a result of the initiative, five million Nigerians have been lifted from extreme poverty.