From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
No fewer than 44, 000 Kano residents have benefited from the Federal Government’s Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) programme launched in the ancient commercial city on Wednesday.
During the launch at the convocation arena of Bayero University, Kano (BUK), the Acting Director General, of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Abubakar Nuhu, represented by Aliyu Abubakar, said 1,000 persons were selected from each of the 44 Local Government Areas in Kano.
According to him, the selection process was carried out by a team of stakeholders that included commissioners, State Assembly members and traditional rulers.
The AUTHORITY reports that nationwide, the programme, which is a strategy to win the war against mass unemployment in the country, will engage 774,000 selected unemployed Nigerians to execute carefully selected projects across the 774 local government areas of Nigeria.
The programme is run under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, being actualized through the NDE.
The NDE boss said beneficiaries will be provided working tools and paid the sum of N20,000 each, monthly. The programme will last for three months only.
According bro him, government believes that the youth who diligently participate in the projects implementation may deploy the knowledge and skills acquired to become self employed.
He said communities will now receive a facelift through activities of the participating youths, as they will engage in various community and environment specific public works, ranging from drainage, clearing and maintenance, vegetation control, feeder roads maintenance, irrigation and great green wall and orchard maintenance.
He disclosed that appropriate working tools and protective wears have been provided for all the participants in their daily work schedules.
“The SPW peogramme has been designed as a veritable tool, through which the lives of 774,000 unemployed Nigerians will be positively touched in the next three years.
“All participants have been documented and their details captured by designated banks to guarantee a fraud-free, transparent and fair service delivery and as well ensure effective monitoring of the programme,” he added.
Minister of Defense, Bashir Salihi, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the flag off in Kano, said ESPW programme will address the ballooning population of the unemployed and rising insecurity in parts of the country.
He explained that the programme is also a strategy adopted to fast track the achievements of economic recovery and growth plan of the country.
“The ministry of Labour and Employment decided to adopt a proactive approach by engaging the nation’s youths in some important sectors of the economy.
“The strategy is intended to facilitate the creation of productive and inclusive societies in the country.
“It is also aimed at shielding the most vulnerable from the ravaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic such as hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and joblessness,” Salihi said.
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who was represented by his Deputy, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, hailed Buhari for the initiative.
He admonished the beneficiaries to be dedicated to the programme because they were selected not because they were most qualified, but through providence.