Cross River State N-POWER Updates

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Joseph Odok|23 January 2017 Cross River N-POWER had over 4600 applicant out of which over 4000 got registered. Because of initial issues that saw some activists criticizing the Cross River State N-POWER management, the date for closure of screening exercise for successful applicants of Cross River State origin was extended to accommodate those that could not meet up with screening deadline (due partly to inadequate publicity and the failure of some candidates to avail themselves for the screening at the appropriate time). The N-POWER program was managed by Amb. Nkoyo Toyo. Some of us (especially the coalition of APC Support Group) rose to protect the rights of applicants who were perceived to have been shortchanged; especially with the creation of a new Cross River State N-POWER portal different from the national portal. After initial issues, the interest of the successful candidate were protected. With the settlement of initial challenges, the disagreements between some activists and the management of Cross River State N-POWER was finally sorted out. Kudos to some vocal voices inclusive of Comrade Iso Bassey Edim, Joseph Odok, Inyali Peter, Miriam Obi; and the entire management of Cross River State N-POWER for job well done. Out of the over 500 unscreened applicants, about 35 have completed their screening but their data are yet to be sent for payment of their stipends due to late completion of the screening process. The consideration of the management of National N-POWER Initiative is whether to send their names to be captured amongst the present batch of beneficiaries of the scheme or allow the lately screened successful candidates to shortlisted in the next batch due to some administrative challenges. The running cost of screening of successful candidates for the N-POWER Initiative and their posting is billed to be borne by respective state governors. The presidency only made provisions for stipends for successful candidates while respective state governors are billed to take care of running cost of screening candidates. Governor Ayade Benedict provided office space for the Cross River State N-POWER screening exercise. In an interview with Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, she boasted that the payment of staff that carried out the screening exercise was from her pocket; the Cross River State government is yet to reimburse her for the running of the screening exercise. Our is not only to criticize, at this juncture I say a big congratulation to Amb Nkoyo Toyo and his management team. Some applicants for the N-POWER program have received their first monthly stipends while some have been paid for up to two months. Admittedly, the N-POWER Initiative is  experiencing some logistics problems and bottlenecks but time and patience will sort things out. Though there are some screened successful candidates yet to receive their stipends; the fault is due to some irregularities mostly caused by incomplete submission of registration data and BMV information. The management is interfacing between with affected candidates and the Federal Government to sort out some noticed challenges The mandate given to the management committee of Cross River State N-POWER was limited to screening successful candidates and enlisting same in the national portal. The management lacked the capacity to shortchange names. Respective State Government have the mandate to post successful candidates to areas of need while the Cross River State N-POWER management committee is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that respective state governors be made to give the management team a periodic progress reports. Cross River State is yet to complete posting of candidates: The Cross River State N-POWER management have submitted all screened names to the ministry of Agriculture, Education and Health for posting at the appropriate time. Delay in the posting of candidates is blamable on the state government and not the Federal Government nor the management of Cross River State N-POWER. It is the mandate of state governors to post successful candidates to critical areas of need. For the time being, the portal for N-POWER registration of the next batch of candidates is shutdown. However due to increased awareness, some persons are opting to make forms available to interested applicants pending when the website will be opened for registration of the next batch of applicants. The efforts of these good Samaritan should be applauded. While applauding some concerned Cross River State citizenry for making N-POWER forms available to interested N-POWER applicants, it should be known to all that N-POWER forms are not to be sold. Sadly some criminal elements are extorting money from unsuspecting applicants by  selling N-POWER forms for a certain fee. The public is cautioned to report such criminal elements to appropriate law enforcement agencies that are responsible for dealing with such sets of criminals. The N-POWER website is closed for now, obtaining forms is not a guarantee for registration. Those with forms must remain attentive to when the website will be made open so as to complete the process of online registration. The N-POWER program is not a respecter of political party, religion, tribe or race; the application procedure does not entail anything less than online registration at the proper time. Therefore to expand the chances for Cross River State citizenry, all eats must be on ground for information about when the website will be open for registration. Some politicians are deceiving gullible followers with promises of influencing the N-POWER process to accommodate them. Such claims by such politicians is a cheap way of gaining popularity. All that is needed is attentiveness on the next period the N-POWER portal will be opened for online registration. Stay tuned for more updates as new facts and issues continue to arise. Joseph Odok
Social Change Agent