At least 300,000 beneficiaries of the N-Power scheme across the country on Saturday distanced themselves from a protest over the winding down of the programme’s Batch A and B streams.
Hundreds of N-Power volunteers had on Thursday in Abuja protested the non-payment of their stipends and sudden disengagement by the Federal Government without a substantial exit package.
The protesters besieged the National Assembly in large numbers and chanted anti-government songs.
The volunteers demanded permanent employment or payment of N600,000 to each of them before disengagement.
They also asked for the removal of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouk, for allegedly frustrating the programme.
However, the beneficiaries under the aegis of N-Power Nationwide Beneficiary’s Forum, said in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Amb. Godswill Ibekwe, the protesters were sponsored by detractors to dent the progress recorded by the minister.
He said the beneficiaries of the N-Power were grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari for coming up with the scheme.
“The genuine beneficiaries of the N-Power welcomed the launch of the Batch C as it would avail the same opportunity to other young Nigerians to learn a skill and earn stipends,” Ibekwe said.
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