FG orders suspension of N-Power ghost teachers in Sokoto, following BusinessDay’s investigation
The Federal Government of Nigeria has ordered the immediate suspension of the N-Power ghost teachers in Sokoto State, following an investigative report published by BusinessDay Newspaper.
Zayanu Dalhatu, the desk officer of N-Power in the state, confirmed the suspension of the truant beneficiaries on Monday, noting that the Federal Government, through the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP), had also ordered further investigations on the N-Power ghost teachers, operating in cahoots with corrupt school principals in the state.
BusinessDay earlier reported how racketeers amongst N-Power teachers in Sokoto state were conniving with corrupt school principals to short-change the Federal Government
However, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on job creation and youth empowerment, Afolabi Imoukhuede, affirmed that the truant beneficiaries indicted in the report would be thoroughly investigated.
According to a statement signed by the assistant director of the N-Power job creation unit, Mr Nsikak Okon, the activities of the racketeer volunteers should not be a yardstick for the assessment of the programme.
“The newspaper undercover report, which focused on one of the sub-components of the N-Power Programme, the N-Teach aspect of the programme in Sokoto State, made several claims which highlighted the endemic problem of the ghost worker syndrome in Nigeria specifically mentioning names of truant beneficiaries that abscond from their various places of primary assignment (PPA) but regularly earning monthly stipends,” he said.
“These revelations are shocking and disheartening to us over here at the N-Power team. The actions of these rogue beneficiaries do not in any way reflect the ideals of the Social Contract we signed with the participating Nigeria Youths or this government’s dedication to addressing the educational needs of the country.
“Over the last few years, we have worked tirelessly to respond to the social issues confronting Nigerians in the face of the volatility of oil prices and production,” the statement added.
Okon also faulted school heads, who were supposed to monitor the truants but are involved in the corrupt act.
He continued: “The beneficiaries are to be monitored by the school heads and monthly reports expected to be made to the state government appointed Focal Persons who then forward the report directly to the central N-Power office.
“While several complaints and observations have been made which have resulted in the expulsion of affected erring beneficiaries from the Programme as also reported in this article, we, however, note attempts of some school principals who directly interact with these beneficiaries, who provide unreliable data, further reiterating the deep-rooted corruption in the system.”
N-Power was conceived by the government as a youth empowerment scheme aimed at fostering productivity through skill development and valuable knowledge sharing and acquisition for economic growth and social development. In 2016, the N-Power was introduced as part of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP).
Although NSIP has five components: N-Power Teach, N-Tax, N-Health, N-Agro and N-Build, the N-Power Teach seems to be most popular because a large number of Nigerian youths have shown interests in it. The scheme was designed to support regular elementary school teachers in educating young minds.