The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Social Development Management, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has said that the arrest of popular musician, Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo (D’Banj) by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is in line with recommendations of the ministry towards transparency in the N-Power programme, under the National Social Investment Programmme (NSIP).
Addressing journalists on Wednesday, Farouq, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, said that, “when it came to the notice to the ministry that there may have been sharp practices by some personnel of the Payment Service Provider (PSP) involved in the payment processes of N-Power beneficiaries, the matter was immediately referred to ICPC for thorough investigation, hence the invitation of D’Banj and others for interrogation as part of the ongoing investigations.”
She said: “The N-Power Programme is a very successful component of the National Social Investment Programmme put in place by the Federal Government. It has continued to deliver desired impact through the on-hoarding of 1.5milion unemployed Nigerian youth (mostly graduates), providing capacity building, targeted tenured employment and structured off-boarding unto various career paths; thereby serving as a catalyst conveyor system for unemployed/under-employed Nigerian youth to successful career paths and a stimulus for the Nigerian Economy.
“The Ministry’s attention has been brought to recent publications regarding ongoing investigations in relation to fraud allegations in the Programme. We wish to here state as follows: The Ministry has deployed a well-rounded mechanism for selection of eligible beneficiaries from across the country and this has been in place since the inception of the program. Working with our Service Provider, program beneficiaries are onboarded, trained and deployed to pre-selected Places of Primary Assignment.
“When it came to our notice that there may have been sharp practices by some personnel of the Payment Service Provider (PSP) involved in the payment processes of beneficiaries, the matter was immediately referred to ICPC for thorough investigation. We are aware that certain persons have consequently been invited for interrogation as part of the ongoing investigations.
“In the meantime, we have carried out thorough reinforcement of our systems to eliminate all anomalies and prevent similar occurrences in the future. To this end, we are in close collaboration with 1CPC to support the successful determination of the investigation.
“The public may wish to note that in a bid to ensure transparency and accountability in the implementation of N-Power and other National Social Investment Programmes, namely the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP), Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) and the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), the Ministry has over time involved other government MDA’s, Security Agencies and Civil Society Organizations in monitoring and compliance checks across the 36 states of the country and the FCT.
“We want to assure all N-POWER beneficiaries of Federal Government’s continued commitment to the programme and the subsequent exit/off-boarding channels activated. All program beneficiaries should therefore continue to apply themselves to their utmost at their Places of Primary Assignment. All monthly stipends will continue to be paid in line with program expectations.
“We call on members of the public to come forward with information on any irregularities noticed in the implementation of the National Social Investment programmne through the following channels; Email [email protected]. [email protected] cov ng Phone: 0700 CALL NSIP, 070022556747 or 07030859183- WhatsApp.”