From: Ighomuaye Lucky, Benin-City
Beneficiaries of the Federal Government N-Power Programme in Edo State, on Monday, protested nonpayment of salaries by the scheme.
The protesters who were under N-Teachers scheme posted to Egor Local government Area of the state, said they were yet to receive December, January and February salaries.
Addressing newsmen on behalf of the group at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Isaiah Okpako, said the protest was to bring to the notice of the state and federal governments on the need to urgently address their plight.
He said their counterparts from other local government areas across the country had been paid while they were yet to get a dime having invested must of their time in the scheme.
Said he, “We are here to register our protest. We were verified and posted December to various schools. Our counterpart in other local government areas have been paid across the country but Egor particularly, N-Power teachers have not been paid.
“We protested sometime last month and they asked us to come to government house and write our names. We wrote our names, account numbers and BVN but at the end of the day, they promised us that when they are paying February salary, we are going to be paid and last week they paid Edo State and we were not paid.
“So, that is why we decided that today, we want to come out again to protest. The reason why we are here is for the media to help us publicize it so that it can get to Abuja especially the office of the vice president handling the N-Power project so that they can pay us our salary.
“Egor Local Government Area has not been paid. Oredo, they have some few persons that have not been paid too, they are with us here but Egor local government particular, 100% of the N-power project teachers have not been paid.
“So we are pleading with you to help us publicize it so that this protest gets to the presidency especially the office of the Vice President so that he can look into our problems.
“As we are leaving here now, we are marching down to government house to see the governor so that we can also make him know that the N-Power teachers in Egor and some few persons in Oredo and Ovia North East have not been paid.
He said they have met with the state coordinator of the scheme who assured them of the prompt payment of their salaries but nothing has been done.
“We have met with our coordinator several times. We have been calling him. Last month we protested and he assured us that when they are paying, they we pay us.
“We have not been paid December, January and February. Our counterpart in other local government areas have been paid”, he said.
Also speaking, one Patrick Fidelis, said following series of protests embarked upon by the beneficiaries of the scheme, they were told that they could not be paid because those who enrolled for the programme did not fill in the correct information.
According to Fidelis, “We came out to protest on February 17 and after some time, the person in charge of the scheme came out to say those persons that have not been verified and that some of them did not show up and some of them filled in wrong information and which they asked to go and correct.
“They sent us messages on several times and the messages are in our phones. Our appointment letters are here. The message they sent to us was that we should go and update our accounts.
“We did the first one December 17 and after that, the Edo State office sent us a message that we should go and do verification online. We did that online and after that, we have been going to government house since January.
“We have written our names and account details three times and according to the people in government house, is that, the scheme is being controlled by the federal government.
“So if actually the scheme is being controlled by the federal government, what then happened to Egor Local Government ? If they are monitoring it, they should send monitoring team to Egor whether what we are saying is true or not”, he said
In a swift reaction on why the delay in the payment of the beneficiaries of the scheme in Egor Local Government Area of the state, the state coordinator, Rev. Samuel Uhunmwangho, urges those aggrieved to be patient with the scheme, saying payment was still ongoing.