The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Empowerment, Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede, has disclosed that the Federal Government had resolved the hiccups in the payment of stipends of N-Power volunteers.
Accordingly, the January stipends of non-graduates, as well as February pay for graduates of the N-Power programme would be paid from Friday.
Imoukhuede told newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, that the delay was occasioned by the movement of the payment of their monthly stipends was moved to a new ministry.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, had said that the delay was due to some verification process going on in the new ministry.
While apologizing for the delay, Imoukhuede said that the irregular payment cycle experienced in the last five months would be adduced to efforts to understand the nature of the programme.
He said, “The minister had said that she needed to be briefed to understand the process, which we have done and that is the reason for the hiccups.
“I have the assurances of the new ministry that the worst days are behind us and I am aware that the January stipend although late would be paid.
“I am aware that non graduates have not been paid yet but as I speak, it is in the final lap and you should expect payment on or before Friday this week.”
Disclosing that the February stipend for graduates in the scheme was at the advanced stage, Imokhuede added, “And I have assurances that at the end of this week you should get that and also the non-graduate also by next week.
“So, we are catching up on these backlogs and the paper work and the minister, the permanent secretary and the directors in the ministry are working late hours to ensure the worst days are indeed behind us.”
Assuring the beneficiaries that there were no plans to deny any of them of their valid earnings, he said if anyone is not paid, “it is either you failed validation or you are on temporary suspension.”
He said, “For a few who do not get paid for failing validation, we reach you from the account record we get so that you can go and regularise yourself with your bank or update your bank verification number.
“Once you regularise, you get your legitimate backlog.”
Assuring that necessary steps would be taken to protect the beneficiaries from identity theft, Imoukhuede emphasized that payment for those who absconded from work would be placed on hold; even as he dispelled the notion in some quarters that some non-existent persons were enrolled in the scheme.
He added, “There are no ghost workers in N-power. Ghost workers as erroneously used are our volunteers who are in the minority, who abscond from place of primary assignment and when we get such report, we place such people on payment hold.”
Imoukhuede congratulated the volunteers for being steadfast in the scheme as well as the female volunteers who were delivered of babies, those married in the leap year and others who earned promotions or admissions for further studies.