FG Begins N5,000 Payment To First Batch Of One Million Poor, Vulnerable Nigerians.

As part of its  determined efforts to touch the lives of Nigerians positively the Buhari administration has now started the payment of N5, 000 monthly stipends to the poorest and the most vulnerable in the country through the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of its Social Investment Programmes, SIP.

Under the CCT, one million Nigerians would receive N5000 monthly payments as a form of social safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable as budgeted for in the 2016 Budget. In the first batch that commenced last week, nine states would be covered, and many of the beneficiaries have already reported receiving their first payments by Friday last week, December 30, 2016.

Funds for the commencement of the payments in four states were released last week to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) – the platform that hosts and validates payments for all government’s social intervention programmes. Funds for another set of five states to complete the first batch of nine states would follow soon.

Though the sequence for the payment of the money would be operationally managed by NIBSS, beneficiaries in Borno, Kwara and Bauchi States have started receiving the money. The other states in the first batch to commence the CCT payments are Cross Rivers, Niger, Kogi, Oyo, Ogun & Ekiti States.

The nine pilot states were chosen because they have an existing Social Register that successfully identified the most vulnerable and poorest Nigerians through a tried and tested community based targeting (CBT) method working with the World Bank. However other states have already begun developing their Social Registers and would be included in subsequent phases of the CCT implementation.

Beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer of the Federal Government would be mined from the Social Register, initially developed by 8 States through a direct engagement with the World Bank. Those states are featured in the first batch, with the added inclusion of Borno States where a validated list of IDPS were compiled in addition to the Social Register which is expected to go round the country.

Working with the World Bank, the CBT process has now been adopted for developing the Social Register in the other States around the country, for transparency, objectivity and credibility in the selection of the poorest and most vulnerable beneficiaries for the programme.

The Federal Government will actually commence community mobilization for the creation of the Register in more States soon, to expand the scope and reach of the CCT across the country.

Meanwhile, Plateau, Jigawa, Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Enugu, Katsina & Taraba  States have so far complied with the stipulated framework provided, and are set for the community based targeting method for the development of their Social Register within their jurisdictions.

These States are to be followed by Delta, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Imo and Ogun States. Once the community mobilization, identification and selection processes are completed, the information garnered from the poorest households would be entered onto the Social Register in the states and the National Register at NIBSS, after which the cash transfers would be disbursed to the beneficiaries.

All the funds approved for the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes, SIP, are domiciled with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. In addition, the payment information and processes for all beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s SIP are hosted at NIBSS, as the Consolidated Beneficiary Register, to ensure and fortify efforts at authentication and verification, as well as for effective and efficient programme management.

With the commencement of the CCT, the Buhari administration is now implementing four of the Federal Government’s SIP.

Besides the CCT, the N-Power Volunteer Corps designed to hire half a million unemployed graduates which has now engaged 200,000, and the National Homegrown School Feeding  Programme now running in three states, the Buhari administration has also kicked-off the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, (GEEP).

Under GEEP, soft loans ranging from N10,000 to 100,000 have been designed for artisans, traders, market women among others.

Already, thousands of cooperatives, market women associations, farmers and enterprising youths, have been identified and registered for the purpose, on an ongoing basis, and the disbursement of the soft loans through the Bank of Industry have started since Nov 25, 2016.

At the last count, for the first phase, beneficiaries have been drawn from the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Delta, Imo, Kwara, Kano, Katsina, Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Kogi States.

However, disbursements were halted and deferred until after the festive season. Vetting and approval of beneficiaries are now being continued through the month, with the expectation and plan that by month-end disbursements would have been made to 33,000 beneficiaries.

Regarding the 200,000 beneficiaries of the N-Power programme, close to 50% of the graduates, have now been physically verified, and started receiving their monthly stipends of N30,000 last week. A second batch of 300,000 unemployed graduates are expected to be selected early this year to make up the half a million target set by the Buhari administration.

The verified graduates are now being deployed to work as assistant teachers in schools, as community health aides and as agricultural extension workers, in more than 20 States of the Federation. These States include; Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Anambra, Benue, Cross Rivers, Borno, Gombe, Edo, Jigawa, Katsina, Plateau, Kogi, Osun, Rivers, Zamfara, Niger, Sokoto, Ogun and Taraba.

Government has also started the implementation of the National Home-grown School Feeding programme designed to feed 5.5 million school children for 200 school days in the first phase of the programme. Although the initial design was to feed pupils in 18 States, funding challenges had affected an earlier take-off. But the programme has now commenced in Osun, Kaduna and Anambra States. More states are expected to join this new year.

In the new year, it is the plan of the Federal Government to scale up the implementation of the SIP to touch the lives of millions of Nigerians in fulfillment of it’s promises and in furtherance of its Change agenda.


Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity

Office of the Vice President

January 2, 2017

N- Power Program: Federal Government To Commence Payment Of N30,000 To 200,000 Graduates

The Federal Government has announced its readiness to start paying N30, 000 monthly stipends to 200,000 graduates engaged under the N-Power job creation program before the end of this month.

This was disclosed on Sunday by Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President while giving an update on the program. Mr. Akande stated that in some states, the graduates have 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 completed. The Federal Government announced the selection and engagement of 200,000 unemployed graduates as the first batch of the half a million it plans to hire for the two-year paid volunteer job under the N-Power program.

In his budget speech Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the Social Investment Programmes will continue next year, with the allocation of N500billion to the Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Government Economic Empowerment programme, N-Power Job Creation Programme, loans for traders and artisans, conditional cash transfers to the poorest families and the new Family Homes Fund (social housing scheme).

The N-Power Program explained Mr. Akande, recently took 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.

He added that while the Federal Government is responsible for their monthly stipends payable to those engaged under the N-Power program, it partners with state governments to verify selected unemployed graduates and deploy them to their primary places of assignment since each of the volunteer graduates will be serving in communities where they are resident.

States that have completed the verification disclosed Amanda, are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Cross Rivers, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina and Kogi states. Others are Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara. Verification and deployment, he revealed, have already been completed in Benue, Cross Rivers, and Kogi.

According to Mr. Akande, the verification has commenced in virtually all states of the country, and there are hints that considerable progress will be made this week to enable the Federal Government process the monthly payments of already verified graduates before Christmas.

“The Buhari administration is keen on ensuring that the selected 200,000 graduates are able to draw their stipends starting this month, as plans have been concluded to release the funds once verification is completed. States have been very cooperative in working with the Federal Government so much that even in states that have not completed verification by the weekend, much activities are going on towards attaining that goal.

“The FG will pay the graduates their monthly stipends directly into their own bank accounts, and 93% of the selected 200,000 graduate volunteers have already been verified based on the Bank Verification Number, BVN,” said Akande.

N-Power: Group Accuses Cross River Government of Fraud, Wants Coordinator Sacked

An All Progressive Congress (APC) Group in Cross River state have petitioned the state government and the coordinator of the Federal Government N-Power scheme in the state Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo over alleged fraud.
The group, under the aegis of Coalition of APC supports Group in the state addressed the petition to the national coordinator of the program and the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo.
In the petition titled “Massive Fraud in the Verification of Shortlisted Candidates for  N-Power Scheme in Cross River” and signed by the group chairman Comrade Iso Bassey, the Secretary Barr. Joseph Odok and the women leader, Miram Obi, they demand the immediate sack of the state coordinator, Ambassador Toyo.
According to the petition which was made available to newsmen in Calabar, the group frowned at the lack of awareness on the venue and process of the verification exercise even as they questioned the right of the state government to create a new website for the exercise.
“We want to draw the attention of the Vice President and the National Coordinator of the N-Power scheme to the illegality and massive fraud going on in the verification exercise of the shortlisted candidates in Cross River State.
“We are aware that the federal government concluded the screening exercise of candidates before shortlisting the successful names. The instruction from the Vice President was very clear and simple; that every state should verify to ascertain that the shortlisted candidates are resident in the various states they applied for after which they deploy.
“But to our greatest bewilderment, the state government and state coordinator Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo have connived to create new website, www.crs-n-power.gov to conduct new screening for people. Some people who’s name were published by the federal government were no longer invited for verification”, the petition reads in part.
The group further maintained that “While we acknowledge the fact that the social welfare scheme is meant for all Nigerians not just APC members, we want the federal government to sack the Cross River state coordinator to appoint a new person either from APC, PDP or a technocrat that beliefs in the progressive ideologies of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to manage the exercise”.
While alleging that Ambassador Toyo only want to mess up the good initiative to create bad impression about President Buhari to favour her party, the PDP, the group noted that “It is very unfortunate that the federal government entrusted such sensitive responsibility to a PDP chieftain who has consistently gone on social media and different online media platforms to abuse President Buhari for initiating this scheme and other programs.
“This is somebody who has stated it very clearly that she doesn’t have faith in the leadership of the APC led federal government. She is using the APC federal government project now to create bad impression about President Buhari because so many people have already been told that they don’t have their records after they have seen their names. New people who never participated in the initial screening by federal government have done documentation to be paid this month”.
The group also called on the leadership of party in the state to regularly interface with the federal government to avoid such ” embarrassing ” situation in subsequent programs.
“We will not remain slaves to PDP in Cross River state. APC cannot be in government with PDP in power because our ideologies are different therefore, the federal government should consult and interface regularly with the leadership of the party in the state to be properly guided to avoid further embarrassment”.

N-Power: We Discovered Applicants With Fake Certificates – Staff

Empowerment Scheme of Federal Government continuing, it has been discovered that a number of applicants applied with fake credentials.
Yesterday, in the State of Osun, our correspondence in a dialogue with one staff of the agency conducting the authentication process who pleaded anonymous said, “We have discovered that many of the applicants used fake documentation, which has been exposed during the screening exercise that is ongoing.”
He added said, “At Boluwaduro Local Government, we discovered that out of about 94 applicants that were successfully shortlisted, almost 10 have been debarred on certificates scandal and other related issues.
He alleged, “Some applicant submitted fake results, while others have Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and claimed to have gotten National College of Education, which is against the lay down principles of NPOWER scheme.
He said, “Also, in Ifelodun Local Government and loads of others, there are issues of forgery and credential manipulation.”
It was also established that the screening has been completed in some of the 30 Local Governments of the state while, the rest are expected to report to State office to complete theirs, for some of the applicants failed to show up within the time stipulated.
He advised, “Federal and State Government should entreat in working perfectly for the reason that, there are thousands of graduates who have good documents but, could not get this opportunity. The government should maintain merit so as to encourage youths with better certifications and also shun engaging people through back door.”

N-power applicants protest extortion by government officials

Some youths from the 13 Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, enlisted for the N-Power documentation exercise, on Monday protested alleged extortion by organisers of the programme which marred the exercise.

The N-Power is a federal government initiative to employ 200,000 unemployed graduates across the country and pay them a stipend of N30,000 monthly.

It was gathered that the unemployed youth numbering over 200, who had besieged the venue of the documentation exercise as early as 7 a.m., had earlier yielded to the directive of the organisers to go to Number 29, Gunning road, Abakaliki, and pay the sum of N500 to enable them be documented.

However, trouble started when the organisers directed them at about 2:30 p.m. to go back to their different local government areas for further directive.

The youth, angered by the directive to return back to their council areas after waiting several hours in the scorching sun, trooped to the entrance gate leading to the governor’s office and blocked the entrance.

They insisted that either the Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Job Creation, Donatus Njoku, or any other government functionary must address them before they would vacate the entrance.

After several hours of waiting at the entrance gate of the governor’s office without any government functionary addressing them, the protesters went back to Number 29, Gunning road where most of them had paid the N500. They insisted on getting their money back.

Some of the youth who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES on condition of anonymity expressed regret over the procedure and the slow pace of the exercise. They wondered why the organisers would insist that they must pay N500 before they would be attended to.

A visit to the makeshift pay-point at the heart of the Abakaliki Main Market revealed that scores of the youth had besieged the office protesting the alleged extortion and calling for the immediate arrest of the organisers.

Meanwhile, there was a mild drama at the venue of the makeshift pay point when some unidentified hefty young men numbering about five drove to the place with a Hilux Van with registration number AKL 342 SB. They immediately bundled a young man and a lady stationed at the point to collect the money and zoomed off.

The youth, who suspected connivance and attempt to whisk the suspects away to avoid arrest, immediately went after the vehicle but their chase was in vain.

When our correspondent visited the cabinet office to get the reaction of organisers of the documentation, they had disappeared while the unemployed youth were seen in clusters discussing the unfortunate exercise.

Mr. Njoku could not be reached for reaction as he was said to be in a State Executive Council meeting.

6,346 youths get N-Power jobs in Kaduna – official

A total of 6,346 youths have been recruited for the Federal Government’s N-Power jobs in Kaduna State.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some of the successful applicants on Friday underwent verification in Kaduna prior to their postings.


At one of the screening centres at the Kaduna Agricultural Development Project office, an official said that the successful candidates would be posted after an aptitude test to be conducted next week.

Mallam Yau Kassimu, Director, Agricultural Extension Services of the agency said that 1, 211 unemployed youths were recruited to serve as agricultural extension workers.


According to him, 4,103 of the successful candidates would be posted to teach in primary and Junior Secondary Schools while 587 will be posted to Primary Healthcare Centres.

N-Power: Assembly decries low number of beneficiaries from Kano

The Kano State House of Assembly has expressed concern over the low number of beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s Empowerment Programme, N-power, selected from the state.


The Speaker of the House, Alhaji Kabiru Rurum, stated this on Wednesday while briefing newsmen on the issue in Kano.


Rurum said: “Despite the fact that Kano is the most populous state in the country, available data has shown that over 20,000 youths from the state applied for the scheme, yet only 4,966 were selected.”

He cited examples of other states that were not as densely populated as Kano but were allocated more chances than the state.


Rurum said: “Such selection process is against the spirit of federal character, and we are not satisfied with the selection method.”


The Speaker said that the House had written a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, appealing to them to look into the selection process again.


Rurum said that the Assembly would not relent in its efforts to ensure that fair play prevailed in the selection process.

How we’ll deal with fraudulent claims in N-Power jobs – Presidency

Over 90% of the 200,000 unemployed Nigerian graduates selected in the first batch of the N-Power Volunteer Corps, NPVC, have been verified using the Bank Verification Number, and any untrue information submitted in the process of application is a ground for disqualification.

This clarification was given Sunday by the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, while giving an update on the N-Power Volunteer Corps which is now advancing with assignment of beneficiaries to their places of deployments in their states of residence.

Mr. Akande, who referred to a BBC report last week regarding the testimonials of some of the selected Nigerian graduates noted that “it is most gladdening that those who were selected are now telling the stories of how they have not been employed for years, but now grateful to the President for this initiative.”

Some of them, he added, expressed satisfaction that even though they knew no one in government, they were selected for the paid volunteer job program, attesting to the transparency of the selection process.

Mr. Akande said that all the states and the FCT, through the focal persons they appointed, have since received the list of the 200,000, and now working on deploying the beneficiaries to their places of assignment.

He also explained that by using the BVN, which is one of the most viable means of identification in the country today, there is hardly any way anything fraudulent can sail through in the process.

“We are confident that the selection process, all the way through with BVN, and physical verification at the points of deployment in the states and the local government areas, are both transparent and impossible to abhor ghost beneficiaries, or any kind of fraud,” he said.

Mr. Akande said already 93% of those selected have been screened through the BVN, with the commendable assistance of the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, NIBSS, and only authentic and verifiable beneficiaries will be paid the N30,000 monthly stipends starting December.

Responding to reports about random searches conducted on social media platforms, the SSA dismissed them, saying such cannot be better than “biometric identification we have secured through the BVN.”

“Besides the BVN, there is going to be physical verification, through an in-built component in our selection system that requires that information submitted online during the application would have to be authenticated at the point of deployment across the country, including verification of academic credentials and residence status.”

According to him, just as is normal when someone gets a job or even admission to school, he or she would proceed to present papers that have been submitted during application for verification. “This is also going to be like that, so claims about some applicants claiming to be residents of states would be dealt with if it turns out such claims are false. If an applicant cannot supply proof of residence, the selection is terminated.”

Besides, he explained that in a local government such as Abadam in Borno State, where there have been claims that nonresidents applied and were selected, Akande assured that there is no cause for alarm because such people would have to show up for verification on the spot.

He added that there was also a likelihood that a number of applicants may have input Abadam inadvertently considering that Abadam LGA is number one on the list of LGAs under the list as posted on the N-Power portal. “There is a good chance,” he continued, “that some applicants may have failed to complete the forms online accurately.”

Such errors are being reviewed and anyone found not to be resident in the LGA would be removed and replaced using the waiting list of applicants.

Said he: “an important aspect of the application was that applicants were told in clear terms that any false information would be grounds for disqualification.”

On how the 200,000 people were selected, the SSA Media explained that the selection was not only fair and done transparently, but also with adequate care.

Firstly, 40% of those who applied for the N-Power Teach and Agric were selected, and 50% of those who applied for the Health category, all based on an assessment test.

Then to mitigate the adverse socio-economic circumstances in the North- East an additional 4800 applicants from the region were selected with Borno State getting 1200 and Adamawa, Yobe, Taraba 800 each and Bauchi and Gombe 600 each.

Also to bolster states with low application numbers, an additional 4208 was selected and shared between Bayelsa, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States. The Federal Ministry of Agric also additionally allocated 6799 applicants in the Agric category to all states across specific crop, fish and livestock targets in order to support government’s self-sufficiency target in Agric produce.

Gender and disability factor were also key in the selection. 46% of those selected, Mr. Akande disclosed, are females, while a total of 1126 were successful applicants with disabilities.

Mr. Akande then assured that those not selected in the first batch are now in the waiting list until the subsequent batches when they would be considered again, since there are still 300,000 to be selected under this budget cycle.

On why the selection process was based on states of residence rather than states of origin, Mr. Akande simply noted that for example, over 42,000 Nigerians applied for the N-Power from Lagos but only 3568 of them originate from Lagos. “Would it then be tenable to say almost 40,000 Bona fide Nigerians who are applicants resident in Lagos should just forget it since they are resident but not origins of the Lagos State?

FG begins shortlisting candidates for 500,000 jobs – Minister

The Federal Government has commenced shortlisting candidates for the 500,000 jobs it promised.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja when a delegation of the National Council for Women’s Societies paid him a courtesy visit in his office.

Mohammed said that applications were being received and government had started processing them for the recruitment.

He said: “The process for the recruitment has started.

“About 1.2 million people applied and they classified them into categories, including agriculture support officers, teachers, technical officers and so on.”

The minister also said that the payment of N5,000 conditional cash transfer promised by the government would begin before the end of the month.

He said the Minister of Finance, Dr. Kemi Adeosun, had earlier announced this.

Mohammed reiterated the commitment of the government to improving the well-being and standard of living of the citizens.

He said: “We are very concerned about the welfare of Nigerians and we are not sleeping; we are working day and night to ensure that the country retraces its step.

“Many of our critics have been unfair to us because many of them know that we did not invent the problems we are facing today.

“This is time to join hands together to support the government to move the nation forward.”

The National President of NCWS, Gloria Shoda, expressed the confidence in the resolve of the government to implement programmes for the advancement of girls and women in the society.

Shoda drew the attention of government to its promise of providing free maternal and children health care and implementation of the National Gender Policy.

Shoda also appealed to government to consider scholarship for girls pursuing medical courses in the universities to address maternal and child mortality.