From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Forty – four thousand youths, drawn from the 44 local government areas of Kano State, are to benefit from the Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) program of the Federal Government.
Speaking on Wednesday at the flag- off of the ceremony at Bayero University, Kano, the President, Muhammad Buhari said that the program was designed to provide employment for1000 youths in each of the 774, 000 local government areas in the country.
He admitted that the Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) initive was a further attempt to mitigate the issue of poverty, hunger, environmental degradation and unemployment in the country.
Represented by the Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Bashir Magashi (Retired) he observed that each of the participating local government areas should identify its preferred projects adding that they would be responsible for ensuring that these projects were executed as planned.
Buhari told his audience that all the tools and equipment required for the take off of the project had been provided by the government adding that nothing short of a strong commitment is expected from all the stakeholders.
Buhari expressed optimism that the program would be of economic assistance to the beneficiaries even as he hoped that some of them would leverage on the knowledge and skills acquired from the program to becoming self employed.
In his remarks, the Acting Director of the national Directorate of Employment (NDE) , Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo said that the Extended Special Public Works program was a significant leap in the efforts to address the challenges of unemployment in Nigeria.
He disclosed that the pilot phase of the program had been successfully conducted in eight states in the country , namely Jigaw, Katsina, Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi , Edo, Ekiti and Kwara State.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who said that his administration has embarked on a lot of empowerment programs for the youth in the state, thanked the President for the initiating the scheme.