*Says story fabricated, misleading

By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: The management of Hope For The Needy & Skills Empowerments Foundation popularly known as Hope For Nigeria (HFN), has expressed shock over a news report published by an online media known as “Foundation of Investigative Journalism (FIJ), describing it as totally false and fabricated.

According to the statement signed by President of the Foundation Mr. Kerry Kenu Sholaye, the said news report captioned: “Exposed: NGO Extorting Nigerians in the name of the Federal Government”, was hundred percent founded on mischief and completely misleading.

Mr. Sholaye also described the reports as an arbitrary expression and display of armature of a baby reporter, one sided fabrication for hearing from the management of the HFN or clarified before going to press, demanding for the immediate removal of the story.

He explained that aside been one sided, the news story was outrightly conceived with the sole aim of tarnishing the image of the organization that has used all its effort and resources towards developing and helping Nigerians with empowerments.

Mr. Sholaye explained that the N1,050.00 funds being paid to the organization which is now N1,250.00, were only by those who intend to work with the organization, and therefore voluntary and not compulsory or extortion.

The Foundation also tagged (“Our Organization” “We”), stated that the funds, N1,050.00, “being paid to the organization which is now N1,250.00 were paid only by those who intend to work with the organization.

The payment, according to NFN is subsidized and one-time payment for a dedicated Salary Account and Agent Banking Account with Access Bank Plc, for ID Card, and Biometric Data processing.

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“The story termed it as extortion but everyone who pays the sum would work during the process and will be paid a minimum of fifty thousand naira (N50,000). The dedicated salary/Agent account would be credited with a minimum of N1,075.
“The arrangement is an internal one and our organization never stated that the Federal Government instructed us to collect that sum. The organization needed to set up a structure of fifty thousand workers to ensure the process of data collation is accomplished”, Mr. Sholaye stated.

He added that “The process of Data Capture for Workers for each State has commenced and everyone who pays the above-stated one-time fee and works with the existing structure would be duly remunerated.
“Our organization did not receive any call (s) or WhatsApp messages, or any mail to our Head Office or wasn’t asked to respond before the story was published.

The official email of the organization was not contacted either. Our contacts are open to such clarification with all the available channels, Our Organization is left baffled at the article claiming we could not be reached”, he queried.

He also explained that the National Social Register process was facilitated by the Federal Government of Nigeria. “This is clearly stated on the National Social Safety-Net Coordinating Office’s (NASSCO), website.

“Our Organization never made any move without informing the NASSCO. Our activities update and details contained in the recent press conference were mailed to the NASSCO Head office on the 22nd of September, 2023 and we have an acknowledgment copy handy.
“This was sent before we had the press conference on the 26th of September, 2023 and we can clearly state that every content relayed to the press was correct and based on discussions we had with NASSCO. {We attached the acknowledgment copy of the letter sent to NASSCO}
“The news report claimed that on our website we said we have 210,000 Staff. We want to categorically state that that information is false and the Statistics contained about us in page of our website are permutations and not actual existing figures.
“The organization has detailed breakdown of its operations to back the Statistics contained about us on the page of the website. The existing Statistics are available on the Home Page of the website, where it is clearly stated that we have over 25k+ (25,000+) Active Staff, N75B (N75,000,000,000) in funding and Government Grants, and 25M+ (25,000,000) Nigeria To Benefit. {We attached the breakdown of the Organization’s project}.
“The organization was given a go-ahead by NASSCO with a letter of Introduction. The process for data collation would involve all the villages and communities in Nigeria and only a well-structured organization can accomplish a thorough process of collation.

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“This made our organization to enhance its structure to ensure we meet that mandate. {We attached the Copy of the Introduction letter given to the Organization by NASSCO}, he further clarified.

The president therefore advised the FIJ to immediately remove or pull down to the story in its best interest, while urging for proper investigation before publishing subsequently.
“Our organization requests for the story to be removed immediately while FIJ can conduct a proper investigation, reach the Organization’s President, Mr. Kerry Kenu Sholaye on gsm email address available in all social media.

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