Federal Ministry of Finance and the Director of Subsidy Reinvestment Programme, SURE-P Graduate Internship Scheme, GIS, have been accused of diverting over N3billion meant for the payment of the participants.
The money is allegedly meant for the payment of the stipends of the 17,500 participants for eight months which never got to them.
The SURE-P GIS is a component of the SURE-P domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Finance.
It was learnt that while the ministry claims that the GIS has 30,000 graduate interns, there were only 12,500 participants.
At a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, Chairman of the SURE-P GIS Employers’ Forum and Managing Director, Forcecom Networks Limited, Mr. Paul Okafor, alleged that all these years, Nigerians were being misinformed and misled by the Project Director, SURE-P GIS, Mr. Pakpa and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Anastasia Nwobiala. He accused them of being economical with the truth that there were over 30, 000 Nigerian youths benefitting from the scheme.
Okafor said the actual beneficiaries are only 12,500 nationwide.
The ministry had earlier accused Forcecom Networks Limited of forging its log sheet to deceive the public about its activities.
The ministry also accused the company of coercing the interns to pay N7,000 into its company’s account.
But Okafor denied all the allegations, saying that the interns were not working for the Federal Government, but the employers.
He explained that SURE-P GIS works like the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, adding that since the Federal Government had already posted them to these companies; it was the responsibility of the firms to use them in whatever capacity they want.
Okafor said the interns in Forcecom had not received their stipends for eight months, adding that the unpaid stipends had been appropriated. He stressed that they were just asking the National Assembly and other concern bodies to intervene.
He clarified that they had 5,260 employers and 12,500 interns under GIS.
Okafor lamented that over N5million was spent by the ministry in advert placement on the purported termination of the partnership with Forcecom following its recent protest to the National Assembly.
He, therefore, called on anti-graft agencies to probe what he described as “last minute massive looting.”


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