As Federal Government prepares to commence payment of monthly stipends to 200,000 graduates engaged under N-Power job creation programme, 13 states have submitted verified lists of the graduates and more expected later in the week.
The Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to Vice President, Laolu Akande who made the disclosure yesterday while giving a news update on the programme, explained that graduates have also been deployed to their primary places of assignment in some states.
Akande noted that payment of N30,000 stipends for the graduates would commence before end of the year, once verification and deployment have been done.
It would be recalled that under the N-Power Volunteer Scheme, the Federal Government announced selection and engagement of 200,000 unemployed graduates as first batch of half a million the administration plans to hire for 2-year paid volunteer job programme.
President Muhammadu Buhari while presenting 2017 budget last Wednesday had announced that Social Investment Programmes would be continuing next year with another allocation of N500,000.
He said “the 2017 Budget estimates retains the allocation of N500 billion to the Special Intervention programme consisting of the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme to provide loans for traders and artisans, Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest families and the new Family Homes Fund (social housing scheme).
The president added that the “N-Power Programme has recently taken off with the employment of 200,000 graduates across the country, while the School Feeding Programme has commenced in a few States, where the verification of caterers has been completed.”
Expatiating more on the programme, Akande explained that the Federal Government is responsible for the graduates’ monthly stipends, adding that it is in partnership with state governments to verify the selected unemployed graduates and deploy them to their primary places of assignment since each of them would be serving in their communities where they are resident.
The Vice president’s aide disclosed that the states that have completed the verification by weekend are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Cross Rivers, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina and Kogi states.
Others according to him are Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara States, while verification and deployment have already been completed in Benue, Cross Rivers and Kogi.
According to him, in virtually all the states, the verification has commenced and there are indications that much progress would be made this week in order to enable the Federal Government process the monthly payments of the already verified graduates before Christmas.
He said the present administration is keen on ensuring that the selected 200,000 graduates are able to draw their stipends starting from December as plans have been concluded to release the funds once verification is completed.
Akande added that states have been very cooperative in working with the Federal Government so much that even in the once that have not completed verification by weekend, much activities are going on towards attaining that goal.
He assured that the Federal Government would pay the graduates their monthly stipends directly into their own bank accounts, adding that 93 per cent of the selected 200,000 graduate volunteers have already been verified based on Bank Verification Number (BVN).