Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives has described the Federal Government’s 774,000 job scheme as politically motivated and unsustainable.
The caucus in a statement by its leader, Kingsley Chinda, on Monday, admonished members of the PDP in the House to ignore the letters from the government requesting senators and members of the House to nominate 30 and 25 beneficiaries respectively from their local government areas.
Chinda noted that the N52 billion the government has earmarked for the programme in the 774 local government areas across the country, if judiciously utilised is enough to set up viable industries in each local government area.
According to him, the correspondence requesting lawmakers to nominate beneficiaries of the public works scheme is “a condemnable attempt to bribe and hoodwink the institution of the National Assembly into complicity in the misapplication of Nigeria’s scarce resources for the implementation of a questionable, misguided, absurd and arguably unlawful scheme that alarmingly intends to expend N52 billion under the guise of ‘creating employment’ for only three months.”
He added that while the PDP lawmakers supports the creation of gainful and sustainable employment for the large army of unemployed Nigerians, it is illogical for the government to expend such enormous resources for a “transient ” employment scheme.
Chinda stated that “elementary division of the approved Programme budget of N52billion by 774 LGA’S in Nigeria, implies expenditure of N67.184million (about $150,000) in each LGA of Nigeria, which if applied judiciously and transparently will suffice for the establishment of a viable Industry in each LGA…
“From the estimated sum of N67.184million intended to be expended in each LGA of Nigeria, N1million per Small and Medium scale Enterprise (SME) can be utilized for the creation and development of 67 SMEs per LGA, which will engage in viable and lucrative businesses in the agriculture, mining and other value chains that in most instances would be peculiar to each individual LGA and create gainful employment for up to 3 or more poor Nigerians per SME.
“The creation and development of 67 SMEs in each LGA will provide at least 134 actual sustainable jobs per LGA and 103,716 nationwide. The impact on Nigeria’s economy and GDP will be astronomical and will set Nigeria on the path to economic growth and development.”