The federal government has extended the ongoing N-Power Batch C online application by two weeks, an official has said, adding that over five million people have so far applied.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the humanitarian ministry’s Deputy Director, information, Rhoda Iliya, on Sunday.
The ministry explained that the decision aims to capture more intending applicants who have had difficulties accessing the online registration portal.
It added that since the opening of the new batch C online portal, last month, the ministry has received a record number of over 5 million applications so far.
“The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development state that the extension has become necessary to provide an equitable and level playing field to all eligible applicants which have seen a record number of over 5 million applications.”
According to the ministry, the extension is to afford more opportunity for online registration, taking into cognizance the difficulties some people might encounter in gaining access to the registration portal.
The N-Power programme, inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016 with thousands of direct beneficiaries spread across the key industries targeted by the programme – Agriculture, Health, Education, and Tax. -had last month announced the disengagement of both batch A and B volunteers allowing for opportunities of new batches into the work-for-pay scheme.
The first batch (A), which commenced with over 200,000 young Nigerians in 2016, were to have exited the scheme in December 2018.
Perhaps because of the general elections in February 2019, the federal government extended the programme to May 2019. This was followed by an indefinite extension, which ended June 30.
The second batch (B) kicked off in August 2018, with about 300,000 beneficiaries who ought to exit the programme in July 2020.
However, there had been reports that some members of the National Assembly fraudulently received slots of about 50,000 out of the 400,000 beneficiaries willing to partake in the scheme – from the minister, Sadiya Farouq.
According to the report published on Sahara reporters, the forms were allegedly being distributed by the senate president, Ahmad Lawan, and three other Nigerian politicians, for their wards and supporters.
But, in separate statements reported by PREMIUM TIMES, both Mr Lawan’s spokesperson, Ola Awoniyi, and Senate spokesperson, Ajibola Bashir, denied the allegations and described them as false and a fairy tale.