At the outset, the implementation of the N-Power system stands out as one of the Federal Government ‘s strongest initiatives under President Muhammadu Buhari, with many graduates engaged in the system trying to move to the presumed next stage of the curriculum, which was perceived as permanent work or empowerment without understanding that it was a preparation for the path to the unemployment community.
On June 30th, 2020, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Diseaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, announced the beginning of the disengagement of the Npower volunteers’ batches A and B, which was completed in July without providing them with an existing package to launch their dream business after years of service to the country.
The path to this gross disengagement began with the move of the initiative from the Vice President’s office to the Ministry in October 2019 with a view to further providing realistic panacea to the country’s ravaging ginormous catastrophes. The Minister has since focused on moving the volunteers into the next level. This next step has been commonly translated as sustainable work or prosperity, taking into account in particular many commitments made by the administration regarding job growth and poverty eradication, not recognizing it is the reverse.
For example, during the 2015 general election campaign, President Mohammadu Buhari vowed to generate a million jobs per year and end the misery of the people. This may have caused the development in 2016 of the National Social Investment Program (NSIP), which involves N-power System, Conditional Cash Transfer and others. The president, while addressing the country on June 12, 2019, congratulated the initiative and affirmed his administration’s pledge to bring 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
Similarly, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, the Vice President, had vowed at many forums that the government would not encourage volunteers from the N-power to return empty handed to the streets. This seems to notify the delayed of Batch A’s disengagement until June 30th, 2020.
However, others have suggested that the delay is not because the government lacks a strong idea for volunteers, but that it was part of the government’s gambits to score political goals during the 2019 general election, which seems to be steadily playing out with the transfer of the two lots into the unemployment colony at a period when most nations around the world are increasing their social investors
The same could be deduced from the statement released on 19 June by the Deputy Director (Information) of the Ministry, Rhoda Ishaku Iliya, in which she claimed that the Ministry had begun the transfer of beneficiaries from Batches A & B into government enterprise schemes and hired private sector entities to absorb some of the beneficiaries after psychometric assessments had been completed.
What resulted, instead, was the Minister’s farewell letter to the beneficiaries on June 30th, where she congratulated them on their transfer to an unknown forum. This kind of confusion in claims tends to be in contrast to the traditional approach to crisis management, such as unemployment, which has become Nigeria’s second-largest name in the nations’ comity. It also demonstrates, however, that the ministry knows the right thing to do, but options to disengage volunteers into the crowded labor market without any concrete bundle remain. Before the disengagement, citizens from various places advised the government not to return the volunteers to the vacant street handed in particular looking at their effect on the country’s moribund education system and other vital sectors.
In reaction to these calls, some of the N-power volunteers took to the streets to protest against this proposal and requested a better current package if permanence is no longer available as announced by the minister during the run up to the 2019 general election, who argued that the federal government could not afford to equip each volunteer with six hundred thousand naira (# 600,00)
To further convince the minister, they took their petition to the national assembly and other institutions calling for their support but all attempts do not seem to produce desired results as the national assembly, which should be the voice of the people, is busy with “probing drama” like: is okay, is okay … operation just off the microphone …! Although the question of the cession of sovereignty clues to China appears to dominate debate in the media leaving the origin of the problem unaddressed in the raise in the fine on hate speech and other. Poverty and illiteracy are the basis of several of the problems plaguing Nigeria today. Poverty has engulfed the country.In reality, many homes are on the brink of collapse due to malnutrition as astronomically the number of children out of school continues to climb.
This is expected to escalate with those volunteers being disengaged. Many of the volunteers who fail to spread the hands of caring from their monthly stipend to their families have now graduated from “full-time unemployment college” where they will have to be tutored by those who used to rely on them to handle persistent poverty. And, on the anniversary of her ministry on 21 August, the minister stated that “they are pleased to notice that, amid population growth, they have achieved a net reduction in youth unemployment statistics through N-Power.”
How this is achieved by replacing five hundred thousand (500,000) volunteers with four hundred thousand (400,000) prospective volunteers yet to be chosen from the five million applicants who are victims of the “man-made suffering” that clouded the nation’s environment is indeed a puzzle that requires the best imaginative universe analyst to uncover. No wonder, unemployed-hand numbers continue to grow amid the presence of NSIP and “project next step”
The National Bureau Statistics (NBS) recently says in its 2020 2nd quarter estimates that the unemployment rate has risen to 27.1 per cent relative to 23.1 per cent published in the 3rd quarter of 2018 survey. Although the underemployment rate figures in the new survey soared from 20.1 per cent to 28.1 per cent. Because of this disengagement, this will possibly increase in the 3rd quarter update.
The world poverty Clock proclaimed Nigeria the world’s capital for hunger in 2018. While in 2019, it reported that 92 million people in the nation are now living in extreme poverty.
The nation, however, denied the report and vowed to do its utmost to make poverty a thing of the past. Yet the country is expected to earn a similar award again this year with the latest disengagement of the 500,000 N-power volunteers.
President Buhari said in one of his reactions to COVID-19 that many citizens are likely to lose their jobs this year because of COVID-19, which eventually came to pass with the N-power volunteer league now suffocating as a consequence of the shock of disengagement from unemployment in the Golgotha triggered by the minister ‘s motivation to fact on the field. Respectfully disengaged batch A and B, nevertheless, is not a smart idea, since it is a shameful thing for a country like Nigeria that is immensely endowed with both human and natural capital to have # 30,000 per month for unemployment, But disengaging them to the crowded labor market after years of service is inhumane without supplying them with start-up money, understanding full well that some of them are now fathers and wives.
In her anniversary address, however, the minister reported that “about 109,823 beneficiaries of Batches A and B of the N-Power scheme had gone on to set up companies in their villages,” but declined to clarify where they got their start-up resources from. Or, if they are linked to Ramon Abass (aka, Hushpuppi) who appeared to be the principal property manager embroiled in foreign fraud. If he was not trapped in Dubai for doing risky business, people must have proceeded to celebrate Hushpuppi the way the minister celebrates the so-called investors.
Just recently, Mrs. Alison-Madueke, who was granted the label “Hushmummy” because of the amount of suspected corruption cases brought against her, said Yahoo Yahoo boys are role models that people in Nigeria admire. This may be amusing, but with the figures of those who unexpectedly become overnight laborers with # 30,000 stipends a month, the woman may not be far from reality.
In Nigeria, most people don’t ask questions about where people got their money from where the Honorable Minister seems to be among them, so of around 109,823 out of 500,000 volunteers who could go daily out of their # 30,000 monthly stipend without transportation allowance and other allowances such as those attached to the mini office, The magician has to solve the mystery. It is therefore time for the government to look at this disengagement and do what is required by either granting the volunteers permanent jobs or mobilization such that the country not only serves and recycles misery in the name of photo shooting, media use, counting schemes and others that contradict the true sense of reform and next-level mantras of a progressive Congress.