The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has threatened to resign his appointment if slots for the 774.000 jobs approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for unskilled rural persons, under the special public works programme of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), is hijacked by politicians.
The pilot scheme was approved to be implemented in five local government areas in eight states of Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, and Kwara.
The beneficiaries are engaged in drainage digging and clearance, irrigation canals clearance, rural feeder road maintenance and maintenance of the great green wall nurseries as well as orchards.
Others are traffic control, street cleaning, cleaning of public infrastructure like health centres, schools and the likes. A total of 40.000 direct transient jobs were expected to be created in the eight pilot states.
Mr Keyamo, who was speaking at the inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Extended Special Public Works across the 774 local governments of the federation, said the programme was designed to mitigate lack of job opportunity in the rural areas through short term engagement of one thousand (1000) unemployed persons per local government for a period of three months.
He said the programme which was a dry season transient job projects is targeting the rehabilitation/maintenance of public and social infrastructure with the participants largely drawn from the pool of unskilled rural persons.
Politicians can’t hijack the jobs
Warned that politicians could hijack the recruitment process, Mr Keyamo said ”This is not for PDP or APC, who will want slot from my local government because I am a politician. But I assure you it will not happen.”
He continued: “I will leave this job, if they want to insist that it will happen. Mr President is targeting ordinary Nigerians who are neither PDP or APC or just anything. They just want to get jobs, they just want to feed their family.
“This is not a time for us to empower our followers as politicians. We are going to dig deep, it is one of the recommendation you are going to make, that is why you are here,” he said.
“Let us make it clear today that, we are not going to bow to the pressure of any politician to come and hijack this programme. It will be well modelled, well-executed and it will reach ordinary Nigerians.”
N46 billion will be spent
The federal government is expected to spend N46.4 billion on the Special Public Works (SPW), which will be implemented by the National Directorate for Employment (NDE) across the country.
The workers, under the SPW, will earn N20, 000 each in three months, totalling N46.4 billion, to ensure the rehabilitation of public infrastructure.
The special public works in rural areas is an employment intensive technique acquired and adopted by the NDE through a capacity building in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
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