Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation (N-Power scheme), says the scheme has successfully verified 175,000 applicants as at April.
Imoukhuede said this at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.
He said the N-power portal was blocked initially due to cases of fraud ranging from dishonesty from Cybercafé workers to carelessness of some applicants.
“You will hear a lot of complaints that we cannot up-date on the portal.
“That’s how we had to block updating on the portal.
“Again, a lot of our youths were a bit careless because when we started the process in December and told them to go and update their details on the portal, the entry point at that time was a generic password.
“We told them that the moment you log in the first time you should change your password.
“Of cause that was where a lot of them became careless.’’
Imoukhuede explained that it was at that point that people began to cheat.
According to him, Dec. 2016 was a learning period for the N-power operators, at which point the scheme decided to block the portal.
He, however, added that the scheme gave room for data update by allowing the applicants to send a mail through the portal so that the sender’s identity could be authenticated.
Imoukhuede further said the second option created for resolving problems was to use the call centres while the third was by using the focal persons to set up update desks in their offices.
He said that was how the scheme was able to make progress in the verification.
“From the list we sent to them about the payment, a lot of them returned as invalid.
“That is how we moved from 65,000 in December to 149,000 now.
“Even now, we still have about 15,000 unverified.
“Right now we are working with the states to do the final master list reconciliation across the states.’’
The presidential aide, therefore, advised applicants to avoid double registration because it would be verified through their Bank Verification Numbers.
Imoukhuede said those protesting and creating panic over the N-Power scheme on the issue of non-payment were persons disqualified from participating in the project for not meeting the requirements.
According to him, such agitators are not even among the about 15,000 yet to be physically verified.
“A lot of those who have actually been creating these agitations at the states are not within the 15,000 valid, verified people that need to be verified because of issues.
“A lot of them are among these 25,000 that are disqualified and they don’t have anything to lose anymore.
“So they are trying to stoke several sentiments across the country to see if they can eventually be allowed into the programme.’’
According to him, the scheme has verification gaps because some volunteers were either absent, out of country, or not interested anymore.
He stated that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has approved monitoring of the project.
He added that monitoring of the project began since April.
Imoukhuede said the people agitating that the focal person mismanaged the fund or petitioning the EFCC had no basis as those in charge of the programme “do not handle money’’.