There appears to be a divergence between Maryam Uwais, special adviser to the president on social investment, and Sadiya Umar Farouq over an exit plan for the beneficiaries of N-Power scheme.
The scheme is one of the social intervention programmes (SIPs) of the Buhari administration which is aimed at tackling poverty in the country.
But while Uwais said there is an exit plan for the beneficiaries, Farouq, minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, said there is none at the moment.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Monday, Farouq said some beneficiaries of the scheme have not been paid October and November stipends because those who enrolled in 2016 have not exited the programme.
She said these beneficiaries “are supposed to have graduated to a more productive venture”.
“I have received initial briefings from heads of agencies and programmes reporting to the ministry from October 2019. However, on account of the technicalities involved, the handing over process is still on-going,” the minister said.
“With regard to recent agitations and outcry against the non–approval of payments for October and November, 2019 stipends to N-Power beneficiaries, the ministry wishes to reaffirm its commitment to ensuring that beneficiaries of all the SIPs access interventions designed for them within the stipulated guidelines.
“The N-Power beneficiaries enrolled in 2016 are yet to be exited, 16 months after the elapse of their contract. They are supposed to have graduated to a more productive venture.
“The ministry is currently making efforts to develop an exit strategy, which is non-existent.”
But speaking with NAN, Uwais said the exit plans were worked out long before SIPs were transferred to the humanitarian affairs ministry.
“We have had meetings with Central Bank of Nigeria on different loan options for the N-Power beneficiaries after exiting the scheme,” she said.
“We have discussed with the minister of finance on some funding via the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme. We have also met with state governors to employ beneficiaries from their own states.
“The goal is to give N-Power beneficiaries a smooth exit on graduation.”
The presidential aide also said she had discussions with the humanitarian affairs minister on the need to meet with Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, to actualise the exit plans.