N-Power beneficiaries in Kogi under the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) on Tuesday, appealed to the Federal Government to pay their stipend for March 2020, amidst the stay-at-home order to curb the spread of the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
Some of the beneficiaries in separate interview with newsmen in Lokoja, appealed to the Minister for Humanitarian, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouk, to pay the March stipend to enable them put food on their tables during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
Mr James Abayomi, an N-Power Teach beneficiary, said that the non-payment of their March stipend, has brought untold hardship to them during this period.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene, while commending the president for initiating the programme, saying it had really helped them a lot.
Another beneficiary of N-Power-Agro, Abdullahi Umar, decried the recent development in the delay in payment of their monthly stipends especially under the new Humanitarian ministry, and urged the minister to address the challenge headlong.
“Our stipend was not delayed when the programme was under the Office of the Vice President; so, we are appealing to the minister to address the issue once and for all,” Umar said.
On her part, Mrs Felicia Oladele, a teacher at Army Day Children School, Lokoja, said, “We are begging the minister to pay our March stipend to enable us to buy food at home.
“Asking us to stay at home without paying our March stipend is impacting negatively on us, especially celebrating the Easter on an empty stomach.”
Also, Mrs Florence Ameh, an N-Power Teach beneficiary, said the non-payment of March stipend has made it difficult to take care of her family needs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The prompt payment of March 2020 stipend of N30,000 each to about 500,000 beneficiaries, would have been one of the most effective stimulus packages for COVID-19. But up till now, we have not been paid.”
Speaking on the matter, the Unit Head of N-Power Programme in Kogi State, Mr Femi Bolaji, appealed to the beneficiaries to exercise patience, assuring them that their March stipend would soon be paid.
“When I reached out to Abuja Office to get update last week, I was informed that the March 2020 stipend would be paid soon. The ministry enjoined us to encourage the volunteers to exercise some patience,” he said.
Bolaji, therefore, appealed to all Npower beneficiaries in the state to be patient as the minister and her team were working round the clock to get the March 2020 stipend paid.