The presidency has warned against illegal collection of fees and charges by some state governments and local officials for the N-Power programme and all other Federal Government’s social investment programmes.
There have been reports of how some state governments charged applicants various fees, particularly for the N-Power programme. In Abia, hundreds of applicants on December 6 protested exploitation by state officials who made them pay N500 each as application fee and still refused to attend to them.
In its reaction to such complaints, Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Office of the Vice President, condemned the act saying it is illegal and could warrant criminal prosecution
“We have been receiving reports about instances where Nigerians are being asked to pay application fees for SIP forms. We want to make it clear that such action is illegal and could warrant criminal prosecution.
“Let us make this very clear. In order to benefit from N-Power, you don’t have to pay any application fees at all. The way to apply is to go online to the N-Power portal. But it is not open right now as we are still working on the 200,000 unemployed graduates already engaged.”
He also explained that there were no application forms or fees for the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of the Social Investment Programmes, “We are using a Community-Based Targeting template of the World Bank and as we have explained this is the mode of identifying the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable.”
About 200,000 jobless Nigerians across the country have started benefitting from the first phase of the N-Power programme and are to receive N30,000 stipend monthly to teach in schools or work in the agricultural sector.