The Federal Government on Friday disclosed N279 billion has been spent on Nigerian youths under the N-Power programme since December 2016.
The N-Power programme is one of the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) introduced by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration towards creating jobs and ameliorating poverty in the land.
Briefing journalists in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, Office of the Vice President, Afolabi Imoukhuede, said the money was spent on the N30,000 monthly stipend paid to the 500,000 youths engaged under the N-Power Programme.
He said that the youths were not owed a kobo under the N-Power Programme.
According to him, the first batch of 200,000 youths have earned a total of N180 billion for 30 months from December 2016 to June 2019 with a monthly bill of N6 billion.
He further disclosed addition N9 billion monthly bill was paid from August 2018 to June 2019 totalling N99 billion for the second batch of 300,000 youths engaged under the N-Power Programme.
Asked how much has been spent since the inception of the programme, he said “It is every simple in talking about an amount that has been invested. I am saying that in Batch 1, they started earning from December 2016, so roughly we invest N72 billion annually just for Batch 1 alone. That is aside from the gadgets that they get and aside from all the sponsored training that they get.
“For instance, all the training on Agric for N-Agro, training for health for those who are in health, we sponsor all of that through the federal agencies, ministry of agriculture and ministry of health.
“So direct in our people is N30,000 x 200,000 = N6 billion every month for the first batch which started in 2016. So they have been there for over two years, that is N72 billion multiply by two years or thereabout.
“But since August last year, the wage bill moved from N6 billion to N15 billion because it’s now 500,000 of them that earn N30,000 monthly.
“We have been on N15 billion for almost one year because by the end of July it will be one year that we have been making that investment every month.
“So if you put it together that just tells you how much investment we have made and like I have said, we don’t owe anyone because the money is paid directly to them, not through a proxy,” he stated
He explained the scheme was designed to solve the employability problems being faced by Nigerians youths after graduation.
According to him, plans are currently ongoing to recruit many of its trainees into the police force in collaboration with state governors to actualize the community policing agenda.