The Federal Government has inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Extended Special Public Works Programme Across the 774 Local Government Areas of the Federation, set up to devise a strategy for the implementation.
Inaugurating the Committee in Abuja yesterday, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, said President Muhammadu Buhari had in October 2019 approved a pilot special public works programme, for implementation by the National Directorate for Employment (NDE) in five Local Government Areas each of eight pilot states.
He added that the programme, a Federal Government job creation drive, was designed to “mitigate lack of job opportunity in the rural area through short term engagement of one thousand (1000) unemployed persons per Local Government Areas (LGA) making it 774,000 Nigerians for a period of three (3) months,” with a payment of N20,000 monthly allowance to the beneficiaries.
The Minister described the programme as “a dry/off season transient job programme targeting the rehabilitation/maintenance of public and social infrastructure with the participants largely drawn from the pool of unskilled rural persons”.
According to him, following the success of the pilot programme, which was carried out between February and April 2020, the Federal Government went ahead to leverage on its gain, and on Monday, 6th April, 2020, “the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, in a Press Conference, conveyed the approval of Mr. President, on the extension of the programme, to all the 774 LGAs in the Federation from the initial five (5) LGAs in eight (8) states of the Federation.”
He noted that the approval by the President for the extension of the programme, and the subsequent rise in its magnitude, necessitated the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee, for effective planning and proper implementation.
The Minister mandated the Committee to collate the respective rural programmes in each ministry; Review the implementation of the pilot programme and make recommendations where necessary; Recommend appropriate monitoring and evaluation mechanism and, develop an achievable implementation time line.
He expressed confidence of the Federal Government in the ability of the Committee to carry out the task before it beyond expectations, and with minimum waste.