Editor's note: Aanu Adegun in this opinion disagreed with Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq's comments that the FG cannot afford to pay N300b exit package to beneficiaries of N-power programme.
I read about minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq's comments on the recent N-power beneficiaries protest demanding for N600,000 exit package and what the honourable minister brought smiles (ironic) to my face.
The honourable minister claimed that the federal government cannot afford such money. I disagree with the minister completely. If it wishes, the government can afford the money. It is as simple as that.
'Under the nose' of the same FG, monumental fraud running into billions has been reported in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). What of the ministry of Agriculture? Fraud worth billions have also been reported. How much is the FG paying for the country's alleged subsidy? These are only a few we can point to. What about those who are still not in the public glare? Or is the minister saying the FG can survive monumental looting but cannot survive empowering thousands of youths?
Dear minister, all these lead to only one thing: Will. Do you have the will to add value to the lives of these youths? Not by paying N30,000 and throwing them back to the streets.
The time has come for you to meet President Muhammadu Buhari over this issue. You are the beneficiaries link to Buhari. Let the president understand that it will be unfair to throw these young men and women back to the street. I believe as a father, the president would see reason in your argument.
Let us be frank dear minister, it is wrong to empower thousands of youths and just throw them back to the street you pick them from without adequate exit package that can make them set up a business. I already have a suggestion on what can be done about this. You can read it HERE.
And again dear minister, most of these beneficiaries believe you dislike them because you were not responsible for their recruitment. They believe the vice president who was initially in charge would have been more empathic. I want to disagree with them on this. But ma, show empathy. Yours is to manage disaster and not to contribute to it. Throwing them away during the coronavirus where many businesses, schools are not functioning is a recipe for disaster in their different homes. Be a mother to them. And ma, please don't let anyone convince you that with N30,000, they should have started something. It does not work that way. Please take 30k and visit a normal market in your area (markets where poor people can get things cheaply and not the one befitting your status) and let's hear your comment after that.
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