by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The federal government has been called upon to prosecute civil servants, who enrolled in the N-Power programme meant for jobless youths so as to serve as deterrent to others.
Northern Civil Society Groups, who made the call during a press conference in Kaduna on Thursday, said the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Haj. Sadiya Umar Farouk, should investigate and ensure that those involved are made to face the wrath of the law.
A statement read by President, Northern Anti-Corruption Front, Mallam Yusuf Idris Amoke, and two others, on behalf of the group said the statistics of the affected civil servants existed and should be properly investigated by the humanitarian ministry in collaboration with sister ministries.
“There is a pressing need to loudly speak on the issue frustrating this N-power programme, which is that of doublers. They are those persons, who are gainfully employed but still lack the contentment to let the application of this N-power to people, who are jobless and in need of urgent help, most especially amidst this Covid19-pandemonium.
“We advice such people to respectfully desist from such acts, as we are also calling on the Hon. Minister to subject this process to a thorough and rigorous background check that will expose such persons and be dealt with accordingly.
“We need collaborative effort to fill up the void already created as we the Northern youths are lagging behind already.
“We equally urge the Hon. Minister to pay much attention on people, who are already working but still enrolling in the program, thereby blocking the spaces of other genuine youths, who are in dire need.
“Such people should be prosecuted to serve as lessons to others. Northern Youths have in the past neglected any such efforts provided to them by saying ‘this is for those, who only know people up there.’
“We bring you glad tidings that such days are long gone under the watch of this minister, as she has assured, and reassured, that equal treatment for all is her watchword, as transparency, equity and merit will be upheld in the selection process,” the group said.
The groups also called on the Northern Youths to enroll in N-Power Batch C Programme under the ministry, adding, “We are glad to receive the news that the Federal Government through the Office of the Hon. Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Haj. Sadiya Umar Farouk, has prepared to enroll youths in their hundreds of thousand into the N-Power program at this trying times of economic crunch from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Today, we wish to lay emphasis on the national empowerment programme under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, popularly called N-Power. Through this programme, the pains of unemployment and poverty have been reduced by engaging hundreds of thousands of Nigerian youths into various sections of the N-power programme.
“The program, which started with 200 thousand youths, has since been increased to 500 thousand over time. This is a huge number that has surely made a significant impact in assisting these youths by putting food on their table,” they stated.
The group added that, “As the first-phase comes to an end, we urge the government through the Honourable Minister to provide soft loans for the beneficiaries of this phase, in order to establish businesses.
“We call on northern political office holders, ranging from Councillors, Council Chairmen to Members of Houses of Assembly and Representatives to convert their campaign/constituency offices into registration points by providing free internet facilities to aid easy registration by our youths.
“Consequently, we are begging on politicians and all, who have the capacity to assist, to please, do so by providing stipends and/or any means of access to the internet café as we believe this has in the past prevented so many from applying.
“Fellow youths, fellow northerners; please, seize this golden opportunity and make good use of it. The N-Power is free and is for you. Please, make judicious use of it.”