In the wake of preparation by the Federal Government for the commencement of the payment of monthly stipends to the 200,000 graduates engaged under the N-Power job creation programme of the Buhari administration, 13 states in Nigeria have submitted their verified lists with more expected this week.
This disclosure was made on Sunday by the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, while giving an update on the programme.
Mr Akande also stated that in some states the graduates have also been deployed to their primary places of assignment, noting that payment of the N30,000 stipends for the graduates will commence this month once verification and deployment have been done.
Under the N-Power Volunteer Scheme, the Federal Government announced the selection and engagement of 200,000 unemployed graduates as the first batch of the half a million the Buhari administration plans to hire for the 2-year paid volunteer job programme.
In his budget speech on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the Social Investment Programmes would continue in 2017 with another allocation of N500 billion.
Buhari said: “the 2017 Budget estimates retain the allocation of N500 billion to the Special Intervention programme consisting of the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme to provide loans for traders and artisans, Conditional Cash Transfers to the poorest families and the new Family Homes Fund (social housing scheme).
“N-Power Programme has recently taken off with the employment of 200,000 graduates across the country, while the School Feeding Programme has commenced in a few States, where the verification of caterers has been completed.”
Mr Akande explained that while the Federal Government is responsible for their monthly stipends, it is in partnership with state governments to verify the selected unemployed graduates and deploy them to their primary places of assignment since each of the volunteer graduates would be serving in their communities where they are resident.
The SSA further said that the states that have completed the verification by weekend are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Cross Rivers, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina and Kogi states. Others are Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara States, while verification and deployment have already been completed in Benue, Cross Rivers and Kogi.
Akande added that in virtually all the states of the federation, the verification has commenced and there are indications that much progress would be made this week in order to enable the Federal Government process the monthly payments of the already verified graduates before Christmas.