Lagos Assembly wades into N’POWER scheme, seek redress for deprived applicants

    By Lanre Adesanya

    The Lagos State House of Assembly has invited the state coordinator of N-POWER Scheme of the Federal Government, following protests by applicants to the House over alleged non-commencement of scheme in the state.

    The House also directed the Acting Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni to search and invite whichever state agency in charge of the programme to come and explain to the lawmakers reasons why the scheme was yet to start in the state.

    Informing the lawmakers about the protest, the Chief Whip, Mr Rotimi Abiru said the he was in the company of Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa and other lawmakers to receive the protesters.

    Abiru said that the shortlisted applicants of the Federal Government scheme meant to reduce unemployment, deemed to commence in December, 2016, was yet to commence in the state.

    The chief whip said the protesters alleged that their counterparts in other state had started enjoying the benefits, while applicants in the state had been deprived of their own entitlements.

    Reacting to the said petition, Hon.Tunde Braimoh, Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy described the situation as “appalling, embarrassing and flabbergasting”.

    Braimoh representing Kosofe II, said, “The Federal Government has thought it fit to ameliorate the suffering of unemployed by introducing this programme, it is bad that some people stalled its commencement in the state.

    “It is bad, we should do the needful by intervening, we need to even probe what is going on in the scheme.”

    Another lawmaker Hon.Adefunmilayo Tejuosho Mushin I, said the state had a very high population of unemployed young person who applied for the programme as against getting involved in crimes.

    Tejuosho, Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Petitions, Human Rights, and Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC)  urged the House to stand as voices of the affected applicants.

    “We need to invite the the coordinator of N-Power in the state, we cannot toy with the destiny of our young people,” she said.

    Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman, House Committee on Waterfront Infrastructure, described the deprivation as “disenfranchisement”.

    Yishawu said, “It is our quota that is affected and we should look out for the good of those who voted for us. People voted for APC to deliver and this is the time to deliver.”

    He urged the House to set up a committee to look into the matter.

    Also speaking, Mr Segun Olulade, Chairman, House Committee on Health Services noted that Lagos accounts for over 10 percent of unemployed in Nigeria.

    “Olulade said, “I want the fellow in charge of N-Power in this state to be invited. We should constitute a committee to this effect and address the issue.”

    According to Mr Rotimi Olowo, Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning described the deprivation as “barbaric and a heinous crime against the Fundamental Human Rights” of the youth in the state.

    The Speaker of the House, however cautioned the House  to thread carefully on the matter, urging the Assembly to seek more information before taking a position.

    Obasa said, “We need thread carefully before we take step. however, I agree that the people concerned should be invited to brief the House as people’s representatives. We need information in that respect. “

    Meanwhile, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode’s proposal for  “A Law to Provide for the Management, Protection , and  Sustenance of Environment in Lagos State was read on the floor of the House.

    Another proposal for a Law to Provide for the Establishment of Cooperative  College Bill signed by the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Kazeem Adeniji was read on the floor of the House.

    It will be recalled that N-Power is a programme designed by the Federal Government to reduce youth unemployment in the country.