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Mrs Angelina Asein, a volunteer in the N-Power programme in Edo, on Friday was rewarded with N100,000 by Gov. Godwin Obaseki for acknowledging that the programme had brought out her hidden teaching skills. Asein equally said that she was now resolved to be a professional teacher.
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The gift was announced at Urhokpota Hall, in Benin City, during an interactive session between representatives of the 4,702 volunteers in Edo and the scheme’s monitoring and evaluation team.
Obaseki, represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Taiwo Akerele, also announced that the government would employ volunteers who performed very well within the two-year programme.
Asein, a 2012 graduate of International Studies of the University of Benin, had appeared alongside Mr Clement Ojuomajie, a computer scientist, to testify that the scheme had transformed their lives in just six months.
The governor noted that the scheme was not about the stipend attached to it but the ability of the volunteers to make maximum use of the opportunity to develop new skills and improve their livelihood and their communities.
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“”We are going to determine those who have gone the extra mile to bring them into the civil service to fill vacancies created by retirees,’’ Obaseki said.
The governor said that the reason for his participation in the interactive session was to encourage participants to be focused and ensure that they applied themselves well into the scheme.
According to him the success of the first batch of Edo volunteers will determine the consideration for the placement of their colleagues in the next batch.
He asked them to be true ambassadors of the state and assured that the administration would offer every investment to ensure the success of the scheme in the state.
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Job Creation, Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, said that the N-Power programme was a fulfillment of the campaign promises made by President Muhammadu Buhari and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
“”This is a lifeline extended to you by the President,’’ he said, adding that 200,000 beneficiaries were already in the graduate scheme while non-graduates would be deployed nationwide in July/August.
Imoukhuede expressed gratitude that many volunteers in Edo had fully keyed into the scheme and were receiving their N30,000 monthly stipends but expressed surprise that 257 volunteers did not have account records.
“”The records you have given us up to the end of May are invalid,’’ he told them adding that such persons might be delisted from the scheme if they failed to fill their data correctly and start receiving stipends.
The SSA observed that many of the volunteers in the state were deployed to urban centres depriving the rural areas of the benefits and requested the state partners to repost many to the rural areas to add value to the grassroots.
Imoukhuede later held a fact-finding meeting with the state partners at the Banquet Hall of the Government House where he told them to be firm with strict supervision of the volunteers.
He later paid a condolence visit to the office of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Edo whose State Director, Mrs Magdaline Umunnah, died on June 11.
The SSA described the agency as key in the propagation of the ideals of the scheme and prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest.
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