The Federal Government has announced its readiness to start paying N30, 000 monthly stipends to 200,000 graduates engaged under the N-Power job creation program before the end of this month.
This was disclosed on Sunday by Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President while giving an update on the program. Mr. Akande stated that in some states, the graduates have been deployed to their primary places of assignment, noting that payment of the N30,000 stipends for the graduates will commence this month once verification and deployment have been completed. The Federal Government announced the selection and engagement of 200,000 unemployed graduates as the first batch of the half a million it plans to hire for the two-year paid volunteer job under the N-Power program.
In his budget speech Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the Social Investment Programmes will continue next year, with the allocation of N500billion to the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme, loans for traders and artisans, conditional cash transfers to the poorest families and the new Family Homes Fund (social housing scheme).
The N-Power Program explained Mr. Akande, recently took 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.
He added that while the Federal Government is responsible for their monthly stipends payable to those engaged under the N-Power program, it partners with state governments to verify selected unemployed graduates and deploy them to their primary places of assignment since each of the volunteer graduates will be serving in communities where they are resident.
States that have completed the verification disclosed Amanda, are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Cross Rivers, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina and Kogi states. Others are Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara. Verification and deployment, he revealed, have already been completed in Benue, Cross Rivers, and Kogi.
According to Mr. Akande, the verification has commenced in virtually all states of the country, and there are hints that considerable progress will be made this week to enable the Federal Government process the monthly payments of already verified graduates before Christmas.
"The Buhari administration is keen on ensuring that the selected 200,000 graduates are able to draw their stipends starting this month, as plans have been concluded to release the funds once verification is completed. States have been very cooperative in working with the Federal Government so much that even in states that have not completed verification by the weekend, much activities are going on towards attaining that goal.
"The FG will pay the graduates their monthly stipends directly into their own bank accounts, and 93% of the selected 200,000 graduate volunteers have already been verified based on the Bank Verification Number, BVN," said Akande.