Presidency warns against extortion in N-Power

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The Presidency has expressed concerns over the infiltration of fraudsters in N-Power volunteers programme.

The senior special assistant to the president on job creation and youth empowerment, Afolabi Imoukhuede, addressed 12,000 N-Power volunteers in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State on Thursday, warning that the Federal Government would neither tolerate truancy nor allow independent assessors to extort money from beneficiaries.

Mr. Imoukhuede was reacting to the allegation that some persons who posed as N-Power monitors had approached volunteers demanding the sum of N20,000 from each person.

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The presidential aide acknowledged that the agency utilised independent assessors to monitor the attendance and performance of the volunteers but they were not mandated to collect or demand for payment.

He told the volunteers to use the whistle blower mechanism in the organisation to report such acts to the appropriate authority for immediate arrest and prosecution of offenders.

Mr. Imoukhuede, however, frowned at the indiscipline, truancy and other criminal behaviours among volunteers, which he described as inconsistent with the objectives of the scheme.

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He warned that those who absented themselves from work or disobeyed their employers would be shown the way out.

He described the scheme as a work, learn and entrepreneurship programme meant to give a lifeline to unemployed youth, adding that it was not a national cake to be shared.

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“It cannot continue to be business as usual,” the presidential aid cautioned, adding that since there were at least six unemployed graduates on standby to replace each exiting volunteer, the organisation would not hesitate to apply the big stick on truants.

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He said that it was because of the love President Muhammadu Buhari had for the youth that he approved the scheme during his campaign for the Presidency.

“Such opportunities did not come during the previous administrations and this is why the programme should be taken very seriously,” he said.

Mr. Imoukhuede noted that very few volunteers from the 200,000 deployed in 2016 had yet to receive their tablets due to problems they created for themselves.

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He said those affected would surely receive the tablets alongside the 300,000 batch two volunteers before the end of first quarter of 2019.

NAN reports that the Ekiti volunteers turned the interactive session into a forum for gratitude to President Buhari, and endorsed his candidacy for a second term.




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