The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has said that the Federal Government cannot afford to pay beneficiaries of N-Power grant amounting to about N300 billion.
Representatives of N-Power beneficiaries on Thursday, staged a protest at the National Assembly and the Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja.
The beneficiaries who are set to be exited from the programme to pave way for another set, are demanding that the federal government should employ all the 500,000 beneficiaries as well as pay them a grant of N600, 000 each.
But, the ministry being superintendent by Hajiya Sadiya Farouq as Minister, in its reaction reminded the beneficiaries that the demand was not part of the agreement they signed before coming on board.
The statement reads further:
“The Ministry wishes to state that this demand was not part of the agreement of engagement they signed with the Federal Government, which clearly stipulated that they will be exited after 2 years.
“Furthermore, the government cannot afford the N300 billion they were asking for as grant.
“It is noteworthy to state that the FGN has expended hundreds of billions to N-POWER beneficiaries during the last 4 years and is liaising with the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, which is responsible for the payment of their stipends, to ensure that any outstanding legitimate claim is settled.
“The FG cannot afford to continue to pay the exited N-POWER beneficiaries stipends indefinitely, more so that the process of engagement of new beneficiaries has already began.
“The Ministry even though it is not a lending agency is in contact with other Ministry’s, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) such as CBN and NALDA, to see if the exited beneficiaries can key into their empowerment programmes.”