No fewer than 15,246 N-Power beneficiaries of both batches A and B beneficiaries of N-Power in Kwara state were paid a sum of N13.3 billion by the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) on Wednesday before they exited the programme.
Kwara state Focal Person of NSIP Hajia Bashirah Abdulrazaq said that batch A beneficiaries of the programme were engaged for a period of 42 months and were paid a total sum of N7.4 billion.
Hajia AbdulRazaq added that batch B beneficiaries spent about 24 months, saying they received a total sum of N5.7 billion.
“non-graduates received the sum of N10,000 every month and were engaged for a period of 24 months with a total sum of over N24 million spent,” she added.
She also said that the Kwara state government had replicated the youth empowerment programme, codenamed K-Power, in order not to throw beneficiaries in the labour market after exiting N-Power.
Hajia Abdulrazaq said that about 10,000 people benefitted from “trader moni” programme in the state with over N1.3 billion disbursed to them.
She lamented that the people were not willing to repay the loan.
Said she: “Poor masses are not ready to repay the loan after collection because of the attitude of Nigerian to anything from the government thinking it is national cake. Also, those that disbursed the money do not have records of beneficiaries like phone numbers and addresses. Thus, making it difficult to track them for repayment.
“The programme is designed to provide soft loans to boost small scale businesses in the markets which Vice President Yemi Osinbajo flagged off sometime last year to support women with N10,000 as soft loans to be paid back and then enjoy the next stage of N50,000.
“Unfortunately, many beneficiaries didn’t pay back or the channel for payment was not identified, therefore, beneficiaries could not fulfill their pledges. Though, the component is going through restructuring to seeing it achieves its objectives,” she said.
Hajia Abdulrazaq also said that the state government has replicated NSIP scheme in the state, tagged Kwara state Social investment programme, (KWASSIP), adding that, “in view of that, governor Abdulrazaq keyed into the programme by establishing the following, owo arugbo- stipend for the aged, owo isowo- soft loans to petty traders, ounje ofe -homegrown free feeding programme for public primary school pupils and K-Power for the unskilled youth.”