From Judex Okoro, Calabar
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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has stated that joblessness is the major cause of insecurity in Nigeria.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Extended Special Public Works Programme, ESPW, in the state, Ayade commended the federal government for the initiative and called for an extension of the programme.
The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, said: “Insecurity is afflicting the nation and it is occasioned by joblessness and I thank the president for thinking this way about the people.
“I sincerely hope that those who have been selected will apply themselves for what they are expected to do so that the president will extend it beyond three months and make it permanent.”
In his keynote address, Minister of State, Power, Goddy Jedy Agba, said the ESPW said the programme will engage 18,000 selected unemployed Nigerians across the 18 LGAs of the state.
Jedy Agba, whose speech was read by Maurice Ibok, said though the programme is an ephemeral strategy, it will provide the necessary economic palliatives for the youths.
Also speaking, Acting Director General of the National Directorate for Employment, NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, said the ESPW is the single most far reaching grassroots based employment creation initiative in the history of our great nation.
To ensure the effective monitoring of the programme, he said supervisors have been appointed in all the electoral wards of the country to conduct supervisory roles.
On his part, the state Coordinator of NDE, Gabriel Udam, commended the President for the successful launch of the programme in the state.
He said it underscores his passion for the poor and his commitment to get people out of poverty and create wealth.