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FG public works beneficiaries protest non-payment of stipends in Benue



Some of the beneficiaries of the Federal Government programme, Special Public Work, from Vandeiya Local Government Area of Benue State on Thursday protested non-payment of their three months’ stipends.

The Special Public Works is a Federal Government’s programme in the rural areas, an employment-intensive technique acquired and adapted by the National Directorate of Employment.

The programme employed 774,000 workers across the country for three months at N20,000.00 per month.

The protesters stormed Makurdi, capital city of Benue State and carried placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Why pay other LGs and leave others are we not Special Public Work?  We the Vandeikya LGA SPW need our entitlements; President Buhari, please say something’.

Spokesmen for the protesters, Daniel Iorlumun and Bebatso Emmanuel, said of all the 23 Local Government Areas in the state, only Kwande and Vandekiya LGAs were yet to be paid.

They said, “We are from Vandekiya Local Government Area because of the Special Public Work that we have across the federation. Of the 23 Local Government Areas, only two local government areas are yet to be paid.

“We in Vandekiya are tired; anytime we complain, NDE and Zenith Bank would say very soon our money is going to be paid since May. We are 1000 in our Local Government using Zenith Bank. The money is N20,000 per month and for three months it is N60,000 for each beneficiary.

“When we visited NDE they told us they had no hand in the programme. They said if we wanted the money to be paid, we should contact Festus Keyamo and Zenith that were responsible for our stipends.

“We got to Zenith Bank, we were told that Keyamo had not reached out to the bank and that immediately that is done, they would release the money to us.”

The leaders appealed to the Federal Government to release their stipends.

When contacted, an official of Makurdi branch of Zenith Bank who did not want his name in print said, “We are not the one holding their payment.”

Benue State Coordinator of National Directorate of Employment, Musa Saduaki, said the nonpayment of the stipends was not the making of the NDE.

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