The Federal Government on Wednesday flagged off in Bauchi State the extended special public work programme of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
The special public work programme is expected to engage a total of 774,000 youths temporarily for three months.
Declaring the programme open in the state, the Acting NDE Director-General, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, said the programme was implemented in eight states of the federation to address unemployment and insecurity issues across the country.
Fikpo informed that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the implementation of the programme in all the 36 states of the federation following the successful conduct of its pilot phase in the first quarter of 2020 in eight states, Adamawa; Borno; Ebonyi; Edo; Ekiti; Jigawa; Katsina and Kwara.
The NDE boss said the special public works was an outcome of extended activities at rural areas approved by President Buhari, which was implemented by the Directorate in early 2020.
He said apart from being an avenue to fast track the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the programme was meant to cushion the harsh effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on participants.
“This strategy was adopted to fast track the achievement of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020).
“However, to cushion the effect of Covid-19, the Federal Government directed the Ministry of Labour and Employment to adopt a proactive measure by engaging in some important economic sector.
“The programme is also aimed at shielding the vulnerable from the ravaging effects of Covid-19 pandemic which include hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and joblessness,” Fikpo said.
He explained that the Federal Government engaged 20,000 selected unemployed indigenes of Bauchi State to execute selected projects across the 20 local government areas of the state.
He added that 1,000 youths were selected from each of the local government areas to make up the 20,000 beneficiaries from the state.
The NDE acting DG, however, warned that the Federal Government would closely monitor the implementation of the programme to ascertain the efficient utilisation of resources committed to the programme.
While soliciting more support in ensuring effective implementation of the programme across the 20 local government areas of the state, Fikpo charged all participants to reciprocate the gesture of the President Buhari-led government by diligently executing their assigned tasks throughout the duration of the programme.
In his address at the occasion, the Bauchi State governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, applauded the Federal Government for initiating the programme aimed at assisting in lifting Nigerians out of poverty.
Governor Mohammed, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Small, Medium Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation, Modibbo Ahmed, expressed his administration’s commitments to collaborating with NDE with a view to ensuring
a smooth implementation of the programme across the state.
He then urged beneficiaries to take advantage of the programme to improve their socio-economic status.
Recall that The public works programme involves engaging the 774,000 youths from the 774 local government areas in the country. Each participant is to be paid N20,000 per month for a period of three months.