No fewer than N600 million has been injected into the economy of Ebonyi through the Federal Government’s job creation scheme, N-Power, since December 2016, a Presidential aide has said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, said this during the scheme’s stakeholders’ meeting in Abakaliki.
According to him, the amount is the total payments made to volunteers in the state in the past seven months of its operation.
He, however, noted that in spite of the investments, the volunteers had yet to come to terms with the vision of the programme resulting in chronic absenteeism from places of deployment.
Imoukhuede said that the Federal Government would no longer tolerate truancy, adding that 21 volunteers in different states were on suspension for various infractions in the programme.
He observed that while some volunteers had earned stipends in the state without working, another in Taraba, Mr Daniel Joshua, returned two months stipends paid to him to the Federal Government’s Single Treasury Account (TSA).
He said the volunteer got a new job and resigned from N-Power two months ago but sent a message that he was paid for two months that he had left the scheme.
Consequently, he requested for the TSA to enable him to return the money that he did not earn appropriately to the government which was obliged him.
The Presidential aide, currently on Monitoring and Evaluation in Ebonyi, confirmed that Joshua on Friday sent him a scanned copy of the teller he used to repay N60,000 to the TSA.
He said N-Power was a programme to facilitate the employability skills of volunteers and advised any participant who had secured employment since joining the scheme to emulate the good example to create chance for other job seekers.
Imoukhuede hailed the attitude to work and entrepreneurship of one Titus Nwali, a HND Mechanical Engineer of Federal Polytechnic Afikpo, on N-Teach at the Amaizu/Amangbala Central School, Afikpo.
Nwali, besides being regular in schoool, said he had opened a shop with his stipend and retired to it after school every day to earn more money for the upkeep of his family.
The Presidential aide was, however, unhappy with the attendance of volunteers at the nearby Amuro Mgbo Community Secondary School and said that two truant volunteers there would be punished for indiscipline.
At the Afikpo North Local Government Headquarters where 18 volunteers were posted to for N-Agro, he said the agriculture volunteers in the state were under-utilised and directed their withdrawal and re-posting to ADP.
The Ebonyi Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Job Creation, Chief Moses Nomeh, promised to address the challenges facing the volunteers to enable the state to get maximum benefits from the scheme.
According to Nomeh, the state will not tolerate non-performance caused by the un-seriousness of the volunteers, adding “this is a serious programme and one should not expect to reap where one did not sow.”