The So called Npower Batch C Stream II – By Sulaiman Maijam’a.
If there is any Npower category that suffered the extreme and got ill treated the most, that should be the Batch C Stream II. The Batch C category applied for the empowerment in 2020 and stream l was boarded in 2021 and unboarded in August, 2022 after a year of service. Batch C Stream II volunteers who underwent biometric data and physical screenings are still suffocating without knowing their fate.
Imagine applying for Npower since 2020 and receiving nothing up till this moment. Imagine applying for a programme that is aimed at alleviating poverty but ends of rendering you poorer. The current Batch C Stream II volunteers are, indeed, undergoing the worst moment of their lives. These are the children of the poor. The expended the little they have for transportation and feeding at their Places of Primary Assignments. Some of them are even flooded by debt, hunger, anger and depression.
What did they do to deserve this punishment?
The disturbing fact is that whenever these volunteers seek to know about their payments via Npower social handles, the heartless Npower staff give childish, lugubrious and unwarranted cliches such as ” You will be paid soon, sooner, soonest, in no distance time, preparations are in top gear” among others. The question is, what type of ‘soonest’ that is not sooning for five months? when did Npower start teaching regular adjectives and adverbs? Are these beneficiaries’ stipend diverted? Are we serious in this country?
On the other hand, the most painful part is that the Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Minister Sadiya Farouq, recently said that N890.7 billion was spent on N-power with N246 billion on CCT, N17.6 billion on GEEP, N2.7 million on IM, while school feeding programme gulped N200.9 billion.
Farouq said this when she featured on the 23rd edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Administration scorecard series organised by the Information and Culture Ministry in Abuja this week.
N890.7 billion in Npower? Which of the Npowers? The one traumatizing and forbidden our youths their hard-earned five months stipends? Sincerely speaking, this farewell reputation the minister and her ministry are trying to leave behind is becoming unbecoming. It will surely tarnish the seven years of reputation Npower programme.
More frightening are allegations that the monies earmarked for the programme are being diverted to Bauchi state where the minister’s husband is vying for governorship seat. The minister perhaps is investing as she is eyeing the seat of the First Lady in Bauchi. Is that how her husband, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar is planing to govern us if given the mandate?
If not for the sake of anything, the minister has to pay these vulnerable children their money in order not to make her husband’s political career short-lived.
Enough is enough, please pay Npower Batch C Stream II.
Maijama’a wrote from Faculty of Communication, Bayero University, Kano