Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday, explained the reason why payment of N-Power beneficiaries normally suffers delay, just as he disclosed that 2.3 million Nigerians have recently applied for 300,000 available job slots in the Federal Government’s initiative.
Speaking in an interview with reporters after a visit to N-Power Call Centre located at Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) premises in Abuja, he said delays occur when, for example, the beneficiaries’ Bank Verification Number (BVN) does not match the records available to N-Power.
He noted that such cases were common under the initiative which the government is hoping to use to create jobs for 500,000 young Nigerians.
“Some are saying ‘I have not been paid,’ etc. There are very many implications. For example, if your BVN doesn’t match the records with them and that happens a lot. A lot of them have to be worked out,” he explained.
But he denied that there was a backlog of payments that has not been made to the beneficiaries, saying that they were constantly being paid as soon as their BVN were verified.
“There is no such thing as a backlog. If your BVN is verified and everything is checked, then you are paid.
“There is a problem if your BVN does not match the records you gave. If there is a problem with any of your records, you cannot be paid.
“The moment your records are cleared then you are paid constantly. If you don’t correct these records then you might be paying the wrong people,” he added.
Osinbajo observed the even though the programme, which currently has 200,000 beneficiaries, was targeting 500,000 participants in all, as many as 2.3 million people have applied since the application reopened recently.
He stressed that what was more important in the programme was not the money but the learning opportunity it provides for the beneficiaries.
“Already, 200,000 young people have been engaged. And since the programme was opened, another 2.3 million have applied and we are looking at the next phase of engagement.
“But for me, I think what is important is that we are able to do this incrementally and we are able to give hope to some of these young people who need the opportunity.
“We will never always be able to do everything but I think that it is important that we do as much as we can.
“You will recall that the target was 500,000 but depending on our resources we can always do more but the target for now is 500,000.
“But what I want to say to the young people working on this is that, if we take the opportunity, for instance, if you look at the tablet given to them, the tablet contains so much information, so much learning material that one can really develop his skills in a wide variety of ways and be able to give himself greater opportunity,” Osinbajo said.
“So, it’s much more than an employment programme, it’s a learning programme, it’s a skills development programme and it’s unprecedented. I haven’t seen anything like this anywhere in the world,” Osinbajo said.