The Presidency says it has completed the selection process for the employment of 200,000 graduates for the N-Power programme designed to engage 500,000.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
He said the "official engagement" of those selected was now awaiting the completion of BVN verification so that they would be paid directly.
On how the selection was done, he said: “Presidency officials collaborated actively with the Ministries of Agriculture and Health and other government agencies all through the process.
There were no foreign consultants involved, nor is one needed. To make up the selection of the first 200,000, there were three criteria thus: 40% selected based on the number of applications per state, a special mark-up for the 6 states of the northeast and a discretionary addition for states with low numbers of applicants.
"The Buhari Presidency has made very diligent and transparent efforts to ensure that the Social Investment Programmes do not repeat the errors of the past, and the attempt therefore to hurriedly compare the programmes with failed efforts of the past, like SURE-P, even at this early stage is simply baseless. There wouldn't be any middle-men and the payments to be made to the N-Power candidates, the monthly N5,000 to the poorest and most vulnerable among others would be paid directly to them.”
He noted that online applications were not required for Nigerians whom the monthly N5,000 conditional cash transfer of the social Investment programmes were designed for.
Akande stressed that there had not been any disbursement from the allocated fund "not to talk of any kind of mismanagement at all."
He said the claim that Borno State was not online and therefore the N-Power process discriminated against people of the state “simply flies in the face of the fact. Almost 15,000 Nigerians from Borno State applied in the first application series of N-Power schemes online.”
He added: "it is also not tenable to argue that people in Maiduguri for instance which today plays hosts to tonnes of international NGOs cannot apply online or are denied internet access.”
He said Enugu State had over 20,000 applications online for the N-Power programme; while Zamfara and Bayelsa had over 6,000 and 7,000 respectively.