The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, has said that 27,000 unemployed Youths and women will benefit from the Extended Special Public Works Programme (ESPWs).
Chief Information Officer of the ministry, Mr Ezeaja Ikemefuna, made this known in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Shehuri said the ESPWs is of the National Directorate of Employment across the 27 Local Government Areas( LGA) of Borno.
He said the initiative is aimed at cushioning the economic effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic, creating jobs and promoting the maintenance of critical infrastructure at the community levels in all the 774 LGAs across the country.
The minister disclosed this on Wednesday during the official flag-off of the Programme held at Damboa Road, Maiduguri, Borno.
He 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.
The minister said they would be engaged in various community work that would benefit their respective communities.
He said that the initiative was formally flagged off at the National level on 5th of Jan. 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 said that the project would cost the Federal Government the sum of N1.62 billion as a 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 said.
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He noted that ” the Federal Government implemented the pilot Special Public Programme in the Rural Areas of eight selected states which included Borno State, engaging 5,000 unemployed persons – 1,000 per LGA in 5 LGAs of the State as a pilot scheme”.
Shehuri said that the success recorded from the implementation of the pilot programme in eight states convinced President Muhammadu Buhari to expand the initiative to cover all states of the Federation.
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.
The Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, thanked President Buhari for his administration people’s oriented programme geared towards uplifting Nigerians out of poverty and repositioning the country for a better future.
Zulum was represented by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Umar Kadafur.
Mallam Abubakar Fikpo, the Acting Director-General, National Directorate of Employment, said the 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.”