By Daniel Ayantoye
Participants of N-Power scheme yesterday took to major streets in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital in their large numbers to protest the non-payment of their salaries since they were engaged by the Federal Government five months ago.
The participants who had different inscriptions on their placards such as ‘Pls pay our stipends, we’re suffering,’ ‘Kwara N-Power working without payment’ marched from Governor’s office located at Ahmadu Bello Way to Correspondents’ Chapel, Murtala Mohammed Way in Ilorin.
One of the participants, Ademola Modupe who spoke with our reporter, said, “We have been working since December without pay, they told us our problem is verification, we have done verification since December, some of us have babies and many are pregnant. “Government should pay us, they should send their delegate to Kwara State to address the problem. “
Another participant, Sulaiman Olatunji noted that out of 6,000 beneficiaries in the state, 4,000 were affected by the non-payment.
Meanwhile, some participants of the N-Power scheme on Tuesday alleged foul play from the Kwara State Government in the non-payment of their salaries.
The participants made the allegation when they stormed the Governor’s office and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development to register their displeasure.
According to them, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Elder Ayobola, who doubles as the coordinator of the scheme had earlier promised to address them by 1pm on Tuesday only to be told that he had left office before the agreed time.
Some of the participants also wondered why their accounts details were missing on the portal while the Abuja office maintained that those affected have not been verified.
One of the participant, Babatunde Olalekan, said, “We are all here because we have been working since December without pay and the spokesperson Elder Ayobola who is supposed to explain to us why we have not been paid has been avoiding us. Even when we call him, he’ll not pick his calls and when we go to his office they will tell us he is not around.”
Another respondent, Bamidele Ramota who bitterly expressed her plight alleged that the state government may have replaced their names. According to her, the information from Abuja office through a recent e-mail revealed that their details were unavailable.
Responding, the scheme Coordinator in the state, Elder Ayobola Samuel said out of the 5,124 participants that were verified about 748 of them are currently having challenges in terms of unmatched names, unmatched account number and BVN number.
He added that for those who may not have issues with their registration, the non-payment of the salaries of such people may have emanated as a result of errors from the headquarters.
Ayobola who spoke to this medium after a meeting with all the participants at the conference room of the Ministry debunked the claim of foul play or manipulation of registration, adding that the challenges experienced by the beneficiaries were self-inflicted.
“We have advised them to go to the bank and correct these issues although genuinely there are some of them that don’t have issues and they have not been paid,” he further said.