According to an investigation by SaharaReporters, thousands of beneficiary slots were reserved for politicians and federal lawmakers by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, in the ongoing recruitment for the NPower scheme.
The Npower program is under the National Social Investments Programme, NSIP, initiated by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in 2016.
The programme is aimed at addressing youth unemployment in the country through the provision of a structure for relevant large-scale skills acquisition and development and linking its core outcomes to fixing inadequate public services and stimulating the larger economy.
However, the Npower scheme has been caught up with various irregularities in recent times, especially since the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari, when the ministry was created and the scheme handed over for it to handle.
Last week, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, announced the scheme will open it’s portal to take in new applications starting form June 26, 2020.
Sadiya revealed that the scheme will accommodate 400,000 beneficiaries for it’s third batch as the timeline for Batch and Batch B draws to an end.
Upon the commencement of the application process on Friday, SaharaReporters gathered that the ministry had reserved a minimum 50,000 beneficiary slots to federal lawmakers and several other politicians across the country.
The investigations revealed that the lawmakers printed the Npower registration forms upon the opening of the scheme’s portal and shared among their families and close associated.
According to the foremost investigative media outlet, the move is bound to thwart the vision behind the initiation of the scheme and also deny ordinary Nigerian youths the opportunity to take part in the program.
Notable lawmakers who were allocated slots under the corrupt practice of the scheme includes the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Y Suleiman, and Senator Abdul Ningi.
The new allocation of slots is likely a result from the pressure piled on Sadiya Umar Farouq by the lawmakers to make a way for their inclusion in the National Social Investments Program, NSIP
The lawmakers did force their way to become beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfers, Npower and other schemes under the ministry after a meeting with Farouq.