774,000 artisans hired for public works

Posted by News Express | 3 January 2021 | 768 times

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•Festus Keyamo

After several shifts in kick-off dates, the 774,000 jobs will commence on Tuesday.

The programme, designed to employ 1,000 Nigerians from each of the 774,000 local government areas under the Special Public Works (SPW) programme, was initially scheduled for launch on October 1, last year.

Each of the 774,000 workers will earn N20,000 monthly for three months, amounting to about N46.44 billion, which the Federal Government will spend as stipends for the stop-gap jobs.

The cost of other logistics associated with the scheme was unknown as at press time.

All the ministers are expected to launch the scheme in their respective states in collaboration with governors and the supervising Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN).

“We are set to roll out the 774,000 jobs nationwide. We have put everything in place for the programme to succeed,” an excited Keyamo told our correspondent yesterday.

He went on: “The transient job programme is a dry season off-farm transient job initiative of the Federal Government aimed at mitigating the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One thousand persons per Local Government Area (LGA) have been recruited, documented, captured by designated banks and deployed to various locations within the 774 LGAs of the country to provide services critical to the rehabilitation and maintenance of public infrastructure within various communities for three months.

“The programme shall be officially flagged-off by the Honourable Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Chairman of the board and Supervising Minister of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN)) while the formal launch of the project implementation shall take place immediately in the thirty six states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja by various honourable ministers.”

The minister added: “The recruitment was done seamlessly on merit. We were meticulous all through the processes.

“The Federal Government will pay N20,000 monthly  to each of the 774,000 candidates for three months. We have done our best to make sure that a lot of transparency is involved

“Since it is a Federal Government initiative, ministers will flag off the SPW in each state in cooperation with state governors.”

A top NDE official, who spoke in confidence, said: “The Federal Government has done such a tidy job in a manner that there will not be too much transport burden on the SPW beneficiaries.

“The jobs are environment specific relating to maintenance of feeder roads, drainages, market and masses-oriented projects.”

The beneficiaries will work within their locality without bearing much transport burden. One of the criteria is that they must be resident in the local government area. Breaking it down to project sites, it depends on projects that are obtainable in their wards.

“By design, each electoral ward will have two graduate supervisors who will ensure that the beneficiaries are going to do their work. The graduate supervisors are chosen from the 774,000 beneficiaries without incurring extra cost.

“At the end of the day, the nation will have value for money for all completed and ongoing projects in the country.”

Keyamo had cited delay in the release of funds, as well as raining season as reasons for the push in date in October.

Keyamo later announced November 1 as the new date for the commencement of the programme with a staggered flag-off in some states planned between November 5 and 15 last year.

The flag-off didn’t take place as planned, partly because of power play between the minister and an ex-Director- General of the National Directorate of Employment, Nasir Ladan.

Ladan, during the budget defense of the NDE, told the Senate Committee on Labour and Employment that the 774, 000 jobs will officially commence on December 1.

The programme did not take-off as announced by Ladan before he was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari in December last year.  (The Nation)




Source: News Express

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