From Olanrewaju Lawal,Birnin Kebbi
The Acting Director-General of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, has said that the data of participants in the ongoing 774,000 public works programme initiated by Federal Government have been captured properly, assuring a ‘transparent and fair service delivery.’
Fikpo stated this in Birnin Kebbi, the Kebbi State capital, during the official flag-off of the scheme which was witnessed by many stakeholders.
Fikpo, represented by IK Duru, noted that the labour absorptive capacity of the public works sector makes it a very critical vehicle in the job creation process and maintenance of public infrastructure.
He disclosed that the scheme has been successfully kicked off in eight states of the federation including Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina and Kwara.
According to him, ‘the Extended Special Public Works (SPW) programme has been designed as a veritable tool through which the lives of 774,000 unemployed Nigerians will be positively touched in the next three months. Our communities will receive a facelift through the activities of the participants as they will engage in various community/environment-specific public works activities ranging from drainage clearing and maintenance, vegetation control, feeder roads maintenance, irrigation, great green wall and orchard maintenance among many others.
‘Appropriate working tools, as well as protective wears, have been provided for all the participants in their daily work schedule. Equally, all participants have been duly documented and their details captured by designated banks to guarantee a fraud-free, transparent and fair service delivery.
‘And to ensure effective monitoring of the programme, supervisors have been appointed in all the electoral wards of the country to conduct supervisory roles,’ he said.
The Acting DG, who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the initiative, stressed that the scheme, a grass-root based employment programme, would improve the economy of 774,000 local government areas that are beneficiaries.
‘I wish to equally thank the Honourable Minister of State, Labour and Employment, and Chairman of the Board of the NDE, Mr Festus Keyamo, SAN, for his uncommon zeal and determination towards the realization of this lofty ideal. The entire Management and staff of the Directorate are totally committed and dedicated to the smooth and effective implementation of what we have come to proudly call the 774,000 jobs programme,’ he said.
‘We are conscious of the expectations of Mr President and his sincere desire and commitment to supporting the less privileged at a time when the country and indeed the whole world strives on the part of recovery from the effects and shackles of the COVID-19 pandemic.’
In his remark, Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Hassan Sallah Gwandu, Commended President Muhammadu Buhari for introducing impactful programmes that have facilitated the socio-economic development of Kebbi state.
Bagudu, who welcome the allocation of 21,000 jobs in the 21 local government areas of Kebbi State under the ongoing scheme, noted that the programme would create financial empowerment and provision of palliatives to poor and vulnerable persons for the wellbeing of beneficiaries.
Earlier, the Kebbi State NDE Coordinator, Alhaji Abubakar Machika, described the flag-off of the Public Works Programme in Kebbi State as a very significant, uplifting in the quest to win the war against poverty and bring succour to vulnerable persons from the economic hardships brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.