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We can’t afford N300bn N-Power beneficiaries’ demands – FG

The Federal Government on Friday said N- Power beneficiaries were demanding a cumulative grant of N 300 bn .
It, however , made it clear to the beneficiaries of the scheme that government cannot afford to make such amount available as grant .
The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs , Disaster Management and Social Development said it observed that there was a rally at the National Assembly on Thursday by some N- Power beneficiaries.
It said the rally later proceeded to the Federal Secretariat Complex in Abuja , as the protesters claimed to be representatives of the Federal Government ’s N -Power beneficiaries who were about to be exited .
The ministry ’s Deputy Director , Press , Rhoda Iliya , said in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday that the protesters requested the Federal Government to employ all the 500 ,000 N -Power beneficiaries as well as pay them a grant of N 600 ,000 each.
She said , “The ministry wishes to state that this demand was not part of the agreement of engagement they signed with the Federal Government , which clearly stipulated that they will be exited after two years .
“Furthermore, the government cannot afford the N 300 bn they were asking for as grant .”
The ministry said it was noteworthy to state that the Federal Government had expended hundreds of billions on N -Power beneficiaries during the last four years .
It stated that the ministry was currently liaising with the Office of the Accountant -General of the Federation , the agency responsible for the payment of N -Power beneficiaries’ stipends , to ensure that any outstanding legitimate claim was settled.
It insisted that the Federal Government could not afford to continue to pay the exited N -Power beneficiaries stipends indefinitely , more so that the process of engagement of new beneficiaries had already commenced.
The ministry argued that even though it was not a lending agency , it was contacting other ministries , departments and agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria to see if the exited beneficiaries could key into their empowerment programmes .

Source punchng

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