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N-Power beneficiaries at the protest scene

03.07.2024 Featured NSIPA CEO Akindele Egbuwalo Can’t Explain Why N-Power Beneficiaries Haven’t Received Owed N108b

Published 3rd Jul, 2024

By Joseph Adeiye

Akindele Egbuwalo, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Social Investment Programmes Agency (NSIPA), has failed to explain why 400,000 N-Power beneficiaries still haven’t received 9 months’ worth of their stipends amounting to N108 billion.

FIJ called Egbuwalo on Tuesday to share NSIPA’s current position, but he said that the agency’s communication department was in charge of updates.

“I don’t grant such interviews on the phone, and the communication department is in charge [sic] to update you on the relevant answers you need to your questions,” Egbuwalo told FIJ.

N-Power beneficiaries complained about the federal government’s stipend debts for consecutive months in 2023. The beneficiaries created their own association through which representatives communicated with the government.

READ ALSO: For 5 Months, N-Power Fails to Pay Some Batch C Beneficiaries

One of the N-Power beneficiaries told FIJ they had to carry out demonstrations in front of the federal secretariat in Abuja.

They have demonstrated on three separate occasions already.

“400,000 N-Power beneficiaries of Batch C, Stream 2, are being owed. They have not paid us after a series of protests. After going to Abuja time and time again, nobody was paid even after the president approved the payments in December,” the beneficiary said on Tuesday.

“We saw it in the news on the 22nd of December that the president approved payments for N Power beneficiaries, and we were paid for one month the next day. The remaining stipends did not follow that one-time payment in December. They owe beneficiaries 9 months of stipends.

“Every beneficiary is entitled to a N30,000 monthly stipend. Each of those 400,000 beneficiaries has not received that stipend for 9 months. We have written numerous letters, but there is nothing to show for them today.

“The director of the NSIPA keeps telling us that the programme has been suspended by the president and they cannot do anything for now. He says that if we are to agitate for anything, we can’t protest for payment; the only thing we can do now is to find a way to appeal to Mr. President to lift the suspension placed on the National Social Investment Programme. Once that is done, we can then start talking about resumption of N-Power payments.”

READ ALSO: Pay Us Our Money, N-Power Beneficiaries Owed 4 Months’ Salary Tell FG

If 400,000 N-Power beneficiaries say the government has withheld N270,000 from them each, the government owes them N108 billion.

Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s president, suspended all NSIPA-related activities in January for six weeks. Tinubu had suspended Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation who oversaw the NSIPA, after a memo showed her ministry transferred N585 million in public funds to private bank accounts.

The President also suspended Halima Shehu, the former NSIPA CEO, in January.

In April, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said that it had recovered N30 billion while investigating private bank accounts and Edu’s ministry. That investigation is ongoing.

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Published 3rd Jul, 2024

By Joseph Adeiye

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