Betta Edu Narrates Story Behind Unpaid Npower Stipends and Nexit Package.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu, shed light on the reasons behind the delayed payment of Npower stipends and the Nexit Package. She addressed the challenges and complexities that her ministry encountered upon taking responsibility for the program.
- Over-Enrollment: The Minister noted that more individuals were allowed to register for the Npower program than the program’s capacity could accommodate.
- Delayed Funds Disbursement: Funds allocated for the payment of Npower beneficiaries were not disbursed in a timely manner by those responsible for managing the program’s finances.
- Ineligible Beneficiaries: There were individuals on the payment list who were not eligible to be there. Some beneficiaries were no longer actively participating in the program or providing any services but expected continued payments.
Dr. Betta Edu shared that there were beneficiaries whose time within the Npower program had expired more than a year ago, yet they still anticipated ongoing payments. This led to discussions about the need for an exit plan, exit funds, and exit payments.
In response to these challenges, the Minister’s team took action. They established a ministerial committee headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, which included key stakeholders from the Npower program and the National Social Investment Program (NSIP).
The Minister stated that she received the initial report from the committee, which revealed that 20,000 people had been paid for the period of October to December of the previous year. This raised questions about the total number of beneficiaries and the reasons for delayed payments.
Dr. Betta Edu emphasized that the prolonged stay of funds within the Npower program, without being disbursed to beneficiaries, was a critical issue they were addressing.
While progress has been made, the Minister noted that there are limited funds remaining under the Npower program. These funds will be allocated for payment after thorough verification to ensure that only registered beneficiaries who meet the program’s criteria receive their stipends.
The Minister also highlighted that some individuals who have been reaching out for payments are not even part of the Npower program, further emphasizing the need for rigorous verification and management of the program.