MAURICE OKAFOR also reports that the much delayed 774,000 Federal government special job scheme through the National Directorate of Employment [NDE] tagged Extended Special Public Works [SPW], with a duration of three months for unskilled, semi-skilled and unemployed graduates in every state of the federation, eventually was flagged off in Enugu state at the weekend.
The scheme which provides for 1,000 youths per local government automatically favours 17,000 unemployed Youths in Enugu state, based on the fact that the state is made up of 17 local government areas.
The flag off ceremony was performed at the famous late Michael Okpara Square by the Minister of Foreign affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, who stood in for President Muhammadu Buhari, the acting director general of National Directorate of Employment[NDE],Mallam Abubakar Fikpo ably represented by Mrs Josephine Oluka, a permanent secretary in the ministry, the Enugu state chairman of the selection committee, Chief Gbazueagu Nweke Gbazueagu[GNG],Chief Onyemuche Nnamani,representing the South East zone in Police public commission etc.
In his brief speech before the flag off, the Minister of foreign affairs, My Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed that the exercise is part of the measures devised by the present administration in the country led by President Buhari to lift many Nigerians, especially the vulnerable out of poverty. He said that the administration has a work plan to empower 100 million Nigerians within a period of ten years.
He lamented that Nigerian Youths have had it difficult in the past ten to twenty years but President Buhari is bent on revising the ugly trend with his target of providing enabling environments that can create jobs for 0ne hundred Nigerians in the next ten years.
His words,’ Our Youths have had it difficult in the last ten to twenty years. But President Buhari is committed in changing the trend. He has a target for the next ten years.
He further said that the federal government has established an enabling environment committee for job creation that will guarantee a living wage for Nigerians. He commended the chairman of Enugu state selection committee of the scheme, Chief Gbazueagu Nweke Gbazueagu (GNG) and members of his committee, for doing a good job.
The acting Director General NDE,Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo in his address read by Mrs Josephine Oluka,expressed gratitude to President Buhari for the special job initiative meant for unemployed Nigerian Youths.
The NDE acting Director read in parts.’ The Extended Special Public Works [SPW] programme has been designed as a veritable tool through which 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, etc.
He said that appropriate working tools as well as protective wears have been provided for the participants in their daily work schedule. The NDE acting director disclosed that details of every participant have been captured by designated banks to guarantee their monthly emoluments are paid without error, while supervisors who will ensure effective service delivery by the participants have been appointed in all electoral wards.
The chairman of Enugu state selection committee, Chief Gbazueagu Nweke Gbazueagu expressed gratitude to all members of his committee both at the state, local government and ward levels, for their commitment throughout the selection process.
His words, ‘My sincere gratitude goes to the members of the state selection committee for their uncommon sacrifice, corporation and devotion. Worthy of note is the tireless efforts of local government selection committees and desk officers in realizing the objective of the programme with no remuneration whatsoever’.
He advised the participants to use the opportunity, to,venture into s small scale enterprises and by the special grace of God, they will can be established from it.
The AUTHORITY South East post checks revealed that the three months programme which would have started in October in 2020 and ended in December 2020,will now end in the month of March,2021,having taking off this January.
Only few of the successful participants were invited to participate in the flag off ceremony at Okpara square as a strategy to stick to the rules of COVID-19 pandemic prevention.