President Buhari: sacking beneficiaries would worsen unemployment situation
The Federal Government has been advised against the proposed disengagement of N-Power beneficiaries as such action could lead to a surge in crime wave and insecurity in the country.
National Chairman of Isun Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Sir Isaac Nkole (an engineer), who made the appeal during a press briefing in Umuahia, Abia state, said the proposal would be counter-productive, hence the need to jettison the proposal .
This is coming on the heels of an announcement by the Ministry of Humanitarian Disaster Management and Social Development that batches A, and B beneficiaries of the scheme would be laid off to make room for fresh intakes.
According to the announcement, about 500,000 beneficiaries nation-wide would be affected in the exercise slated for June 30, and July 31 respectively.
But advising against the proposal, Nkole said that the affected beneficiaries would be exposed to economic hardship as job opportunities were not easy to come by.
He said that the scheme had made tremendous impact in some key sectors of the economy like agriculture and education, and should be sustained.
Nkole said that a number of university graduates had been engaged in teaching primary school pupils through N-Power, a development, he noted had improved in the quality of education in primary schools especially in rural communities.
He further argued that disengaging the beneficiaries four years after raising their hope would not only worsen the unemployment situation in the country but lead to increase in suicide cases among youths as a result of frustration.
Nkole, therefore, advised President Buhari not to make the mistake of laying-off N-Power beneficiaries in view of the grave implications of such action.
He rather urged the President to look for a way of permanently absorbing the beneficiaries into full civil service.
Nkole whose cooperative society is among the accredited cooperative societies monitoring the disbursement of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN COVID -19 loan to households and Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, in Southeast and Southsouth geopolitical zones, applauded the President for the gesture.
The Isun boss who said the loan had seriously assisted a number of households recover from the harsh impacts of the COVID -19 pandemic, revealed that over 2000 persons had so far benefitted from the scheme in the zones.
Nkole who said Buhari’s administration had made appreciable efforts in the fight against poverty through some laudable programmes like COVID -19 loan, Trader Money, and N-Power, urged the President not to relent.
He promised that the Isun Cooperative Society as one of the accredited cooperative societies in the disbursement of the COVID -19 loan, would ensure “it gets to the people in the grassroots equitably”.
Nkole who said beneficiaries in the household category got up to N500,000 per person payable after three years, advised them to invest the money wisely, noting that “it’s a loan and not grant.”
He hinted that disbursement for the SME category would soon commence, and commended President Buhari for his commitment in eliminating poverty among Nigerians.