Reports making the rounds suggests that the Federal Government is concluding plans to disengage 200,000 out of the 500,000 NPower beneficiaries from the scheme.
The 200,000 to be disengaged are those who formed the first batch (Batch A) who were recruited in 2016 as part of the Buhari administration’s social investment programmes.
The plan was for them to have two years internship in education, agriculture and health (N-Teach, N-Agro and N-Health respectively) which will equip them with skills to either make them entrepreneural or more employable.
According to reports in the media quoting statements credited to officials of the National Social Investment Office (NSIO), their disengagement from the scheme which was supposed to be in 2018 could not be effected because of the bad political optics considering the 2019 elections which were around the corner. This made them spend over 16 extra months on the scheme.
It was gathered however that there was no allocation for the Batch A NPower beneficiaries in the 2020 budget thereby making their disengagement imminent. In fact, it is being speculated that it will either be in January or February.
The reports also indicate that the Federal Government is however making efforts to ensure that the disengaged NPower beneficiaries have a soft landing by making soft loans accessible to them and also liaising with the various state governments to absorb the productive ones into civil service.