We’re looking at the options for N-power beneficiaries – Humanitarian minister – Daily Trust
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, in this interview speaks about the exit plans for N-Power beneficiaries, the success of the Home-Grown Feeding programme and government’s plan to resettle Internally Displaced Persons.
Daily Trust: The ministry seems to have so much to handle; from intervention for Internally Displaced Persons, to Disaster management and the social investment programmes of the Federal Government. How are you managing this?
Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq: It looks big, but the issues are inter-connected. So, government in its wisdom felt that there is need for a body that will coordinate all these issues. We have disasters here and there, which give rise to humanitarian and social issues. So, the ministry is one and the same because the issues are inter-connected and we have the zeal and commitment to live up to the expectations of Nigerians.
DT: N-Power beneficiaries are continually living in fear because they keep hearing that they will soon be relieved of their jobs. A national daily recently reported that 200,000 of them will not be paid the January stipends, can you respond to this to give them some relieve?
Sadiya: I don’t know the reason for the fear. N-Power is a government programme aimed at supporting our teeming unemployed youths. We started with the first batch in 2016, who were supposed to exit in 2018, but because of plans not being in place, the tenure was extended. So, they knew from the onset that it’s not a programme that will be there for life.
Government wanted them to earn a living, and we want to believe that most of them that are wise must have saved out of the stipend they are being paid monthly. Also, they have learnt some skills that can help them to be entrepreneurs. So, I don’t think we should have this panic. From the onset, they knew this programme was for a period of time.
For us as a ministry, we are looking at all options for the planned exit. We are not just going to exit them and leave them to their fate, we have options, and we are exploring these options. We will have a futuristic exit so that they can have something to fall back on.
DT: When is the exit likely to be?
Sadiya: The year has just started; we hope that before the end of the year, we should come up with an exit plan for them.