By Ibrahim Bello
The Federal Government will engage over 21, 000 unemployed youths in Kebbi State, under its Extended Special Public Works Programme (ESPWP), the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Alhaji Abubakar Malami, said.
Speaking at the launch of ESPWP 774,000 jobs in Birnin Kebbi, on Saturday, the minister said each participating Local Government had identified its preferred projects and would, therefore, be responsible for ensuring that they are executed as planned.
“It is instructive to mention that all the tools and equipment required have been provided, hence the Federal Government expects strong commitment from all stakeholders in ensuring efficient implementation,” he said.
Malami explained that the ESPWP was the outcome of the Pilot Special Public Works Programme in rural areas, approved by Mr President and implemented by the NDE in the early part of 2020.
“The pilot programme was implemented in eight states of the Federation, in order to gauge its impact on addressing the ballooning population of the unemployed and rising insecurity, in some parts of the country.
“This strategy was adopted to fast-track the achievement of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020).
“Although the ESPWP is an ephemeral strategy (to last for three months, 5th Jan. -4th April 2021); I am convinced that it will provide the necessary economic palliatives to these 774,000 unemployed youths,” he said.
He also expressed optimism that the youth, who diligently participated in the project’s implementation, might deploy the knowledge and skills acquired to become self-employed, adding that the government and the organized private sector might, in due course, create and provide exit options.
“At this juncture, I must also mention that the Federal Government shall closely monitor the implementation of the programme to ascertain the efficient utilization of every resource, human/ material, committed to the programme,” the minister said.
In his remarks, the Acting Director General of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Malam Abubakar Nuhu, thanked the 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 the programme.
“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.
“We are conscious of the expectations of Mr. President, and his sincere desire and commitment to support the less privileged, at a time when the country, and indeed the whole world, is striving on the path of recovery from the effects and shackles of Covid-19 pandemic.
“Perhaps, this initiative would have commenced some three months ago, but was regrettably delayed due to unnecessary and avoidable circumstances,” he said.
Nuhu reiterated the commitment of the directorate to take responsibility and make it right, so as to rebuild the trust and confidence reposed in their abilities and capabilities, as field workers, dedicated to programme implementation.
The director urged Nigerians living within all the benefiting communities, to cooperate with the participants and officials as “they go about their duties”.