Three months after the commencement of internship programmes at various industry sectors across Nigeria, the federal government is yet to pay salaries of youths selected for the Work Experience Programme (WEP), Peoples Gazette has learnt.
The three-month internship programme was designed by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and is aimed at boosting Nigerian youth’s level of work experience as well as tackling unemployment in the country.
An offer letter for placement as an intern stated that the youth would be required to meet with the WEP State Officer for monthly clearance and also receive a payment of N30,000 each month.
“During the period of your internship, you will be paid monthly, the sum of Thirty-Thousand ( 30,000.00) only, if you have a record of consistent attendance and a report of good behaviour in line with the organizational standard,” the letter partly read.
However, the interns posted to various organisations across the country in August have expressed worries over the non-payment of their salaries since commencement.
One of the interns in northern Nigeria told The Gazette that the government has since kept mute despite several outcries. “We have not been paid,” he said.
He said other interns are feeling “depressed and annoyed” by the federal government’s nonchalance to their plight, notwithstanding that they still go to work every day.
He said except for the state coordinator’s reassurances, no word from the federal government when they’ll be paid. “So far, we have not even heard any response from the government yet on why they have not paid us.”
Despite participating in all the monthly clearance, another intern told The Gazette that they have not been briefed specifically about the reason for the delay in payments.
He said though the state coordinators had done their best in assuring the interns, there was little they can do concerning the stipends. “I think it’s beyond their control,” he said.
To know what the situation was in other states, an intern in Cross River posted on Nairaland.
“We were posted to various organizations since August and till date, we’ve not been paid.
“The program is supposed to end this October and yet we posted in Cross River State are yet to be paid.
“Please I want to find out if it is just the Cross River state or the same thing across the country,” the intern wrote on the platform.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare, however, ignored The Gazette’s several requests seeking comments on the delay in payment.
During the three months, youths were trained on skills to prepare them for work in the civil service, manufacturing, information technology, construction, finance, social justice, health, and education sectors.