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Cash ‘gift’ to former NNPC boss can pay monthly salaries of 117,518 N-Power beneficiaries

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ANDREW Yakubu, a former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had on Wednesday said the $9.7 million and £74, 000 found in his Kaduna house in 2017 were gifts from his friends. The ICIR check shows that the ‘gifts’ when converted to naira at official rates can pay the salaries of over a hundred thousand N-power beneficiaries.

In 2017, operatives of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) raided Yakubu’s house on Chikun Road in the Kaduna South Local Government Area from where the $9.7 million and £74, 000 were recovered.

EFCC filed a suit of seven-count charges against Yakubu bordering on possession of a huge sum of money without going through a financial institution.

Appearing before the court on Wednesday, Yakubu said he received the monies in tranches of not more than $10, 000 and not more than £5, 000 from friends during occasions like birthdays, thanksgiving services and marriage of his daughters.

When combined, these monies, currently confiscated to the Federal Government would amount to a total of N3.5 billion naira at the official rate of N360 Naira to a dollar.

While the official exchange rate of N401 for a pound, the £74, 000 cash found in his apartment would total N33,536,800.

N3.5 billion on N-Power

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The ICIR checks revealed that the N3.5 billion naira confiscated by an FCT Court in 2017 could pay the N30, 000 monthly salaries of 117,518 N-Power beneficiaries.

The N-Power is a youth empowerment scheme initiated by the Federal Government under the Social Investment Program (SIP) in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

In the scheme, selected beneficiaries are paid a salary of N30, 000 during the duration of their engagement.

 The ICIR had reported the travails of some N-Power beneficiaries who said they are yet to be paid by the Federal government for months of March, April, and May during the COVID-19 lockdown.

As at the moment of filing this report, there are 300,000 Nigerians who are active beneficiaries of the N-Power initiative but are due to pass out by the end of July while another batch of 400,000 are due for engagement soon.

Out of the 300,000 active beneficiaries are some who lamented their condition due to the nonpayment of their monthly salary.

Meanwhile,  Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Wednesday  adjourned the cross-examination of the former MD by the prosecution counsel to July 22.

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Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via labolade@icirnigeria.org, on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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