The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Mustapha Baba Shehuri has said that 27,000 unemployed Youths and women would benefit from the Extended Special Public Works Programme (ESPWs) of the National Directorate of Employment across the 27 Local Government Areas( LGA) of Borno State.
The initiative is aimed at cushioning the economic effect of the COVID- 19 Pandemic, create jobs and promote the maintenance of critical infrastructure at the community levels in all the 774 LGAs across the country.
Baba Shehuri said this during the official flag- off of the Programme held on Wednesday in Maiduguri, Borno. State Wednesday 13,January, 2021.
The Minister said that the programme would create 774,000 jobs for unemployed Nigerian youths and women across the country with the recruitment of 1,000 youth per LGA and engage them in various community work that will benefit their respective communities.
Shehuri informed that the initiative was formally flagged off at the National level on the 5th of January, 2021,on behalf of the Federal Government by the Minister of State, Labour and Employment and Chairman, NDE board/ Supervising Minister of NDE, Mr. Festus Keyamo.
The Minister stated that the project ” will cost the Federal Government the sum of N1.62 Billion as direct allowance to be paid to the participants across the nation. The socio economic effects of this quantum of money going directly into the local economy of the communities cannot be overemphasized “.
He noted that ” the Federal Government implemented the pilot Special Public Programme in the Rural Areas of 8 selected states which included Borno State, the pilot programme engaged 5,000 unemployed persons- 1,000 / LGA in 5 LGAs of the State as pilot scheme “.
He further said that the success recorded from the implementation of the pilot program in 8 states convinced Mr. President to expand the initiative to cover all states of the Federation.
The Minister mentioned that NDE has created enormous jobs via its four core program for indigenes of Borno State and assured participants that ” we will monitor your progress on the job to ensure that resources are judiciously committed to the programme “.
Shehuri commended Mr. President for the historic initiative and urged the people of Borno to complement the Federal Government‘s effort by promoting peace and security in a sustainable manner in the State.
In his remarks, the Executive Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, represented by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Usman Kadafur, thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his administration people’s oriented programme geared towards uplifting Nigerians out of poverty and repositioning the country for a better future.
During his welcome address, the Acting Director General, National Directorate of Employment, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, represented by the Senior Assistant, Technical, Alhaji Samaila Gunda said “Extended Special Public Works (SPW) programme has been designed as a veritable tool through which the lives of 774,000 unemployed Nigerians will be positively touched in the next three months. Our communities will receive a facelift through the activities of the participants as they will engage in various community/environment-specific public works activities ranging from, drainage clearing and maintenance, vegetation control, feeder roads maintenance, irrigation among many others.”
Mallam Fikpo emphasized that “Appropriate working tools, as well as protective wears, have been provided for all the participants in their daily work schedule. Equally, all participants have been duly documented and their details captured by designated banks to guarantee a fraud-free, transparent and fair service delivery. And to ensure effective monitoring of the programme, supervisors have been appointed in all the electoral wards of the country to conduct supervisory roles.”