From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday said beneficiaries of the 774,000 extended Public Work Programme of the federal government will become self-employed and employers of labour after period of three months the programme will last.
He stated this in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital during the flag-off of the programme for the state with the state National Directorate of Employment(NDE) as the supervisory agency.
Buhari who was represented by Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, called on private sector to show interest in employing the participants after they have acquired additional knowledge and skills in the process of implementing the programme.
He noted that the programme was introduced to reduce hardship and suffering in the country with 1,000 unemployed youths benefiting from each of the 774 local governments across the country.
Onu said “Covid-19 pandemic shake the whole world which resulted in enormous economic dislocation in our country. This further aggravated unemployment problems as many factories and businesses were closed in an effort to reduce the spread of the pandemic.
“Mr. President in his determination to reduce hardship and suffering in our dear nation, took the decision to offer assistance to as many as 1,000 unemployed youths in every local government area in the country.
“Here in Ebonyi state, as many as 13,000 youths will benefit from this programme. The aim of this programme is to help in the maintenance of public work of his various government.
“By this programme, the participants will help in the maintenance of public works owned by the federal, states and local governments. This project has a life span of three months.
“It is expected that both the knowledge and skills acquired in the execution of this project will be helpful in making the participants become self-employed later in life” he said.
In his address, a Director at the NDE headquarters, Abuja, Dr. Michael Mbata who represented by the Acting Director-General of the Agency, Malam Abubakar Nuhu, said the Agency as the apex job creation Agency of the federal government,has been in the fore front of the fight against poverty and joblessness in the country.