Owerri – The Federal Government has directed chronic truants in the N-Power scheme in Imo to provide cause why they should be retained or be shown the way out.
The warning was issued by Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, during the monitoring and evaluation visit to the state.
The presidential aide after visiting Government Secondary School, Owerri, Songhai Farms in Nekede and the Imo Emergency and Response Centre, Owerri, expressed dismay at the high rate of absenteeism from work by the volunteers.
He urged the state stakeholders to take full charge of the implementation of the scheme and effective monitoring in order not to jeopardise the chances of new intakes from the state.
“If as a state you fail to make judicious use of the volunteers sent to your state we will withdraw them,’’ he warned.
Imoukhuede expressed disappointment that many volunteers in the state were unable to access the focal person to be adequately debriefed about the scheme and urged the state to address such challenges without delay.
“We really do not take it for granted that people are paid for not working.
“One of the reports we must get every month is the `exception report’ which will be used to penalise chronic absentees,’’ he said.
Imoukhuede directed that volunteers posted to where they were not needed should be re-posted to places they could offer value to the communities.
He also urged the state not to cover up recalcitrant volunteers as there were many unemployed graduates in the state willing to utilise the chances.
Mrs Ogechi Ololo, the new State Focal Person and Deputy Chief of Staff at the Government House, acknowledged responsibility for the poor implementation of the scheme but gave the assurance that things would be turned around.
“We have to look for a way forward by addressing the fundamental problems.
“Imo has more than 20,000 unemployed graduates and we have the capacity to absorb the volunteers in the 305 wards of the 17 local government areas of the state,’’ she stated.
Ololo requested for another chance to enable the volunteers to act in a disciplined manner, threatening that henceforth those found wanting shall be sanctioned. (NAN)