There are serious indications that the Federal Government will by the end of January or February sack about 200,000 batch A Beneficiaries of it’s social investment program popularly called NPower.
This sack will be coming three years after the commencement of the scheme.
Some officials of the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, operators of the scheme confirmed the development in an interview with Leadership in Abuja.
According to th officials, the 2016 beneficiaries were being dropped from the scheme because there was no budgetary provision for them in the 2020 national budget.
“But they must go. They have to go. Government cannot sustain it. Government has to graduate some so that they can enroll other people too,” a top official of NSIO told Leadership.
The beneficiaries who have stayed beyond the initial two years duration scheduled for the scheme are awaiting an already prepared exit plan waiting the approval of the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
Another source who spoke to Leadership also revealed that the first batch of 200,000 were supposed to have left the internship scheme before now, adding that they were left on the payroll because of the 2019 general elections because that was not the right time to disengage the.
“Their exit time fell on 2018 which was election period. So, it will not be wise for the government to be sacking 200,000 people on the eve of the general elections. Politically, it’s not wise. That’s why the programme stretched till this time. They have even stayed nine months extra on the payroll.
“The truth is that they don’t even have allocation for them in the 2020 budget and because of that, they will not be paid. They will exit them this January or so,” the source said.
The beneficiaries were to have graduated from the N-Power after two years of internship but they stayed longer for another 16 months on the government’s payroll, he said.
Bittertruth Media gathered that the disengagement plans for the Beneficiaries include access to loans of between N30,000 and N100,000 to start up small and medium scale businesses, absorption by state governments, private sector employers and other public institutions such as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the police as well as to enlist some of them into the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) being run by the Bank of Industry (BoI) to give them loan facilities.