Don’t scrap N-Power Programme —Northern group tells FG
A Northern group, the ProActive Northern Initiative (PANI) has urged the Federal Government not to scrap the N-Power initiative or any other aspect of the Social Investment initiative.
Comrade Isa Aliyu Musa, the convener of the group, released a statement in which the group demanded that the government immediately rethink its decision and invest in expanding the N-Power initiative in order to give young people opportunities, promote positive change, and ultimately advance the area.
“We emphatically repudiate the vilification of our respected northern leadership for whatever reason or justification. In this light, we deem the targeting of our leaders past and present, for vilification, systematic dehumanization, profiling, alienation, or any action that will render them an object of ridicule, not only immoral and illegal but also abhorrent to our sensibilities and ordinary decency and therefore unacceptable,” Musa stated.
The Group explained that the N-Power programme has been instrumental in providing employment and skills development opportunities for many young Nigerians, particularly in the north.
“N-Power is a social investment scheme set up by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 under the supervision the then Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and transferred in 2019 to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management under Sadiya Umar Farouq.
“As Minister, Farouk made several achievements. One of the key achievements of the ministry under her is the successful launch of the National Social Investment Program (NSIP) through which various social intervention programs are implemented. These programs include the N-Power program, the National Home-Grown School Feeding Program, Conditional Cash Transfer, and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program.
“Her tenure also saw significant progress made in other areas. For instance, the ministry worked to improve access to education for children affected by conflict and emergencies through its Safe School Initiative.”
“Additionally, the ministry launched a program aimed at addressing malnutrition among children under five years old. The program provided nutrition supplements and education on healthy feeding practices to mothers and caregivers. Another notable achievement of the ministry was the prompt intervention in supporting the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the northeast region. The ministry provided relief materials, food items, shelter, and non-food items to the IDPs. They also deployed humanitarian workers to provide psychosocial support to the affected individuals.”
“The Ministry was also able to leverage digital technology towards improving service delivery and ensuring transparency. The NSIP, for example, deployed technology to register and monitor beneficiaries to reduce fraud and improve the accountability of the intervention,” Musa recalled.
The Group lamented that suddenly, the federal government announced it would suspend the N-Power programme indefinitely for proper investigation and restructuring.
“In the process, history is being shamefully and blatantly reviewed, rewritten, and falsified to suit certain agendas that tend to portray the former Minister and, by extension, the respected Northern leadership in a bad light and render them as the culprit and the guilty entity,” the Group stated.
The group clarified that while it acknowledged the need to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in government programs,” we believe that the suspension of the N-Power program at this critical time will have adverse effects on the livelihoods of many young Nigerians who have come to rely on the program for their sustenance.”
“Empowering the youth through the N-Power program not only equips them with the necessary skills for employment but also instills a sense of purpose and direction. By keeping the youth engaged in productive activities, the program helps to deter them from engaging in criminal activities or becoming susceptible to extremist ideologies.”
“The fragile security situation in Northern Nigeria is already a major concern for the government and the international community. The region has been plagued by terrorist attacks, kidnapping, and other forms of violence for years. The N-Power program was seen as a way to address the underlying economic and social factors that contribute to the insecurity in the region.”