From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has urged beneficiaries of the 774,000 extended Special Public Works (SPW) programme to see the opportunity as their own way of little beginning that will lead to positive testimonies in the near future.
The much awaited 774,000 jobs was flagged-off on Tuesday in Asaba by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN).
The beneficiaries of the public works would earn N20,000 monthly within the first quarter of this year when the programme is expected to last.
Addressing the beneficiaries, Okowa who was represented by the state Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu expressed delight, saying that it was in line with his administration’s policy on job creation.
“We welcome this programme of the Federal Government believing that it also falls in line with what we are doing in the state to ensure that majority of our people are taken off the streets.
“The more number of people you able to empower, the more you able to take away crime.
“In the case of Delta, you have about N20 million going to a particular local government every month, and then for 25 local government areas, it is N500 million, that is not small money in any form.
“When you take it to the federal level, for this three months, over N40 billion will be spent and pumped into the economy. It will, to a very large extent reflate our troubled economy on account of COVID-19.
“You do know that our economy is in recession, this will also help us to fast track the movement out of recession. It is a step in the right direction, and we do hope that the beneficiaries will take this ample opportunity not only to add value to their lives but to add value to the national economy and standard of living individually,” he stated.
Flagging-off the programme, Keyamo who was represented by Executive Director of Nigerai Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Victor Ochei said the impact would be huge on the economies of individuals and that of the state.
He said the programme would be evaluated after three months, adding that the evaluation as well as the availability of resources would determine if it would be extended.
Keyamo advised the beneficiaries to see the opportunity as a gesture, adding that the Federal Government was committed to the welfare of every Nigerian.
“The beneficiaries should see this as a gesture from the FG. It is not exactly what should be given, but consideration in law, does not have to be adequate but sufficient.
“It will just be sufficient for the time and to enable them engage themselves meaningfully and to see that government is committed to their welfare and well being and hopefully they may find gainful employment,” he said.