The Kogi State office of the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), on Friday dissociated itself from the alleged extortion of N-Power Batch C beneficiaries in the ongoing physical verification exercise at local government areas in the state.
An online news media had published a story with a “NPOWER: Fraud in Kogi as NSIP officials charges candidates N1000 for verification”.
Hon. Abdulkareem Onyekehi, the Kogi NSIP Focal Person, in a statement in Lokoja, through his Special Assistant on Media, Ismail Kabir, described the report as “misleading, biased and unprofessional”.
Onyekehi noted that the publisher of such report failed to do a proper research and come up with a balanced reportage which is one of the ethics of journalism, before heading for publication.
”Even as the story acknowledged our earlier public notice that only six local government areas, out of the 21 LGAs in Kogi state, have commenced the FREE physical verification exercise, the choice of the misleading headline by medium is unacceptable and we have demanded that the publisher retract the story or face legal action.
”To set the record straight, and to further affirm our earlier publications to this effect, the following facts are necessary for public awareness in order not to be misguided.
”The Kogi State office of the NSIP is NOT responsible for the N-Power Batch C Physical Verification exercise. The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is the body mandated by the federal government to conduct the physical verification for the Batch C, Stream 1 candidates of N-Power.
”N-Power Kogi State has NO office or officials at the Local Government secretariats or any part of the 21 local government councils in the state.
”The physical verification exercise is entirely FREE of charge and has so far commenced in only six out of the 21 LGAs in Kogi State,” he said.
He added that the exercise was expected to commence in the remaining local governments areas when the NYSC officials leave orientation camp, saying, ”we have earlier made public announcements to this effect on both radio and social media”.
He, however, said that the alleged extortion by some fraudulent elements in some LGAs, had been reported to the appropriate authority who are already investigating the matter, adding that those found culpable would face the law.
The focal person noted that the delay in commencing the physical verification in the rest of local government areas was due to the ongoing orientation exercise by NYSC Stream 2, until they round up and leave the camp by 21st September.
”We wish to assure the N-Power Batch C, Stream 1 candidates that our office helpline (0701 412 4967) is open Monday to Friday of every week to receive enquries and complains on the N-Power and other components of the National Social Investment Programmes in Kogi State,” Onyekehi said