Worried over what the future will be for them when disengaged, the Federal Government of Nigeria recently announced an enhancement package for 2016 set of beneficiaries of its Social Investment Programme code named N-Power.
The Office of the vice president which co ordinates the activities of the N-power scheme issued a statement assuring the beneficiaries whose programe were supposed to end by November 2018,that they give them a surprise package.
Consequently they will no longer be N-power beneficiaries but under another arrangement referred to as enhanced N- power which according to them will run till further notice.
Nigerians have expressed divergent views over the Federal government’s decision, while some hailed the decision; other gave the federal government knocks.
Expressing satisfaction on the enhance scheme, Otubo Tochukwu, N -Agro beneficiary said extending the duration of the programme will go a long way in giving more economic power to the beneficiaries
“If the federal government had thrown us out, it would have been very difficult to cope considering the economic hardship currently experienced in the country now.”
For 28 years old Lukas Labaran, N-Heath beneficiary, extending the duration of the program will help assuage fears that have already engulfed most of the beneficiaries over securing job.
In his words “many of us have been worried and have become afraid that when the programme terminates by November we will return to Egypt, but with this now, we will have more time to plan our exit”
Another beneficiary, Vivian Nkechi Umunna says she is very elated about it because the extension of the programme will enable her get more savings to open a boutique business she has always dream about..
Notwithstanding, those who do not welcome the idea of an extension or enhancement said there are other better options the Federal government should have considered which will give better sense of belonging to the youths involved,
Options such as increasing the monthly stipends to enhance their economic powers or converting their ad-hoc status to a permanent one so that the government can continue to enjoy the services they render or better still empower them financially to enable them set up businesses n their own.
This gesture by the federal government has also been given political coloration, those who hold such opinion believes the enhancement is all about 2019. They posit that it is a ploy by the ruling All Progressives Congress ((APC) to score political point, since were in election period every point counts.
In his submission, Edward Apatu, social media critic and security expert says, if the federal government really wants to change the fortunes of the youth, let it give them permanent employment or create the enabling environment for them to stand as entrepreneurs
He warn beneficiaries not to be carried away by what he described as wishy-washy promise a the government because the motive is unclear.