Thousands of NPOWER volunteers are currently lamenting unpaid stipends for the past 2 months.

Recall that the NPOWER program, which is part of the National Social Intervention Programme (NSIP) hitherto under Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo’s watch was moved to a new ministry, The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on the 1st of October, 2019

The innovative social programme in which government budgets N500 billion yearly had been under the office of the Vice President since it was launched in 2016 with over 500,000 beneficiaries, mostly Nigerian graduates.

However the movement of the NPOWER program from the office of the Vice President to a newly created ministry has resulted into non-payment of October and November stipends which has generated lots of angry reactions from the participants. They have lamented that they no longer enjoy the benefits of the scheme since it was moved away from the office of the Vice President, and threatened to go on strike.

Below are reactions on social media.

SIP: Is it the removal of the office from Osinbajo’s office that’s making Npower beneficiaries’s October stipend pend? w/o information. November is ending#Wonder4ulworld

— Ibnibrahim (@ibrahimmauruf1) November 26, 2019

Madam @Sadiya_farouq, can you please address Press on what was/were responsible for non or delay payment of October stipend for all beneficiaries of @npower_ng

It is no longer at ease for entire beneficiaries Ma.

— Hammed Hamzat (@OlayemiHamzat) November 29, 2019

While the N-Power was under VP Osinbajo, this never happened.

They took it away from him, see what is happening

— LOLA (@CuteNaija) November 29, 2019

@npower_ng the minister of humanitarian disasters has caused disasters and havoc in Nigeria as a result of non payment of stipend to the beneficiaries #NpowerPayOurOctoberStipend

— ayomide (@ibnkamil_1) November 28, 2019

Dear ma’am @Sadiya_farouq, are you aware that thousands of Nigeria youth working under the Npower have not been paid two month salaries? And their was not a single reason presented for this by you. A simple etiquette demands that you brief us on the status of payment. @npower_ng

— Emmanuel Aina Abiodun (@EmmanuelAA8) November 28, 2019

Ma’am when are you going to pay Npower beneficiaries their Oct and Nov stipend. Since you assumed that office, the beneficiaries has been subjected to pain and suffering because no payment but you are there enjoying your life why the people you are leading are suffering. Think!

— Benin Finest (@BeninFinest) November 29, 2019

Good morning NTA Nigeria..

U guys should Address or invite the new so called minister for humanitarian to address the issue of the not paying of Npower beneficiaries two month now October and November no payment this is not fair.

— Uzairu Mukhtar (@UzairuMukhtar2) November 29, 2019

Good evening @Sadiya_farouq the issue of non payment of October stipends to Npower beneficiaries needs urgent tomorrow, they will be due for November payment.Findings show that some of them have become corporate beggars to enable them to get to their PPAs

— Olaolu Fawole (@olaoluwafamiwol) November 28, 2019

Mother of our great Nation. I call u Intellectual encyclopedia of Our time. I called you the Greatest Peace Builder of our Nation. May you continue to grow from strength to strength. Please our mother of our Nation, I beg of you to intervene in the non payment of Nigerian npower

— Edet (@Edetgoestoschol) November 29, 2019

@FMHDSD npower beneficiaries are undergoing worse time under this ministry. So the way the ministry is coordinating npower program is bad no communication, no payment. Haba

— ISUWA ISHAKU (@ISUWAISHAKU1) November 29, 2019

This was your last post and since then you went death silence concerning payment of October stipend and now Novermber is due @npower_ng

— GWADICIOUS (@GwadiBmg) November 29, 2019

Tell me how will volunteers follow the link , which money will they use to buy data, no stipends for two months now. No congret information to know the reasons for the delay no date fix for the payment. Government officials- if you children are in npower will you still owe?

— Harmony Johnson (@HarmonyJohnson7) November 29, 2019

A beneficiary who didn’t want his name in print, said the payment was very smooth and commendable when it was under the office of the Vice President, but things have gone sour now. He also lamented that many of them could not voice out because of fear of being disengaged after they did not receive October stipends, but they can’t take it anymore.

He said

“It is extremely inhuman and act of wickedness for the said Ministry now in charge of Npwer to treat 500,000 Nigerian Npower graduates like a kid. The question I ask myself is that “Removing Npower from the office of the Vice President , Is it a wrong move?” believe it or not, when the office of the Vice President was in charge of Npower , even before getting up to this, they would have released official statement telling volunteers the reason for the delay payment and afterwards , apologize. That is the office that respect the graduates and as such treat us as one.

For me, even the support group are kept in the dark and that is the reason up till now, no one has been able to give us concrete reason for the delay of the stipends. With due respect to the Honourable Minister whom I believe is a mother to all especially being a woman, I don’t expect this kind of ill treatment from her to the volunteers. I expect before now, she would have officially informed beneficiaries the real reason for the delay through her social media page, but instead, she kept mute and decided not to reply to any question posed to her by Npower volunteers through her social media page. This is wrong and unacceptable because they aren’t doing us a favour, it is our right and we deserve to be paid work done”

He continued,.

“We therefore call on the Hon. Minister to come out and tell us what is actually happening. If the program will continue or they are planning to scrap it, we deserve to know the reality on ground.

When exactly are they going to pay us??

Any other update aside from the one from the Hon minister is not acceptable and will never be taken as reliable information.

Volunteers can no longer cope having to transport themselves to their place of primary assignment.

We charged all volunteers starting from Monday, 2nd December to stay at home, no pay, no work”

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management &Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq could not be reached for comments as at the time of this report.