From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Niger state has flagged off 25,000 selected beneficiaries out of 774,000 federal government Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) Programme to cushion the adverse social economic effect of Covid -19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada yesterday at the flag off Ceremony in Minna said that the program was adopted sequel to the outcome of its pilot scheme in rural areas of eight states of the federation.
He explained this was in order to gauge its impact on addressing the ballooning population of the unemployed and rising insecurity in the country to be implemented by the National Directorate of employment NDE last year 2020.
Amb. Dada further said that under National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) the Ministry of Labour and Employment is engaging the nation’s youths in some crucial sectors if the economy aimed at creation of productive and inclusive societies.
He added that this will also shielded the mist vulnerable from the ravaging effect of the dreaded pandemic which include, but not limited to, pervasive hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and joblessness.
Dada hinted that the beneficiaries were carefully selected across the 25 local governments of the state who are unemployed to be engaged in executing some selected projects in their localities while urging them to make use of skills and knowledge gained to be self reliant.
He assured of federal government closed monitoring the implementation of the programme to ascertain the efficient utilization
of all human and material resources committed into the scheme.
The Acting Director General of NDE, Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo represented by a deputy director, Mrs Kate Oyoyo said that the agency was very conscious of president Muhammadu Buhari’s sincere desire and commitment to support the less privileged.
He stated that ESPW 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 (5th January to 4th April 2020), urging participants to reciprocate the kind gesture and communities to cooperate with them for optimal result.
Governor Abubakar Dani Bello of Niger state represented by the Secretary to the State Government SSG, Ahmed Ibrahim Matane however applauded the federal government for the laudable program assured of continued partnership with the federal government especially in times of job creation noted that careful selection should be done on the participants.
State Coordinator of NDE, Alhaji Abdulmalik Liman however advised participants who are entitled to N20,000 stipends per month to take the program with seriousness to be self reliant considering the rate of unemployment experienced in recent terms hence the actualization of the mandate of the agency of job creation.