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Buhari flags off 774,000 public works program in Ebonyi

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By Ruth Oginyi

President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, flagged off the 774,000 extended Public Work Programme of the federal government in Ebonyi state. About 13,000 youths will benefit from the programme in Ebonyi.

At the event, the president noted that beneficiaries of the extended Public Work will become self-employed and employers of labour after period of three months the programme will last in different communities of the state.

While speaking in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state capital, during the flag-off of the programme for the state with the state National Directorate of Employment (NDE) as the supervisory agency, President Buhari urged the beneficiaries to take the assignment serious as there will be monitoring team to ensure that the aim is achieved.

Represented by Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Buhari called on private sector to show interest in employing the participants after they have acquired additional knowledge and skills in the process of implementing the programme. He noted that the programme was introduced to reduce poverty and suffering in the country with 1,000 unemployed youths benefiting from each of the 774 local governments across the country.

“Covid-19 pandemic shakes the whole world which resulted in enormous economic dislocation in our country. This further aggravated unemployment problems as many factories and businesses were closed in an effort to reduce the spread of the pandemic.

“Mr. President, in his determination to reduce hardship and suffering in our dear nation, took the decision to offer assistance to as many as 1,000 unemployed youths in every local government area in the country.

“Here in Ebonyi state, as many as 13,000 youths will benefit from this programme. The aim of this programme is to help in the maintenance of public work of his various government.

“By this programme, the participants will help in the maintenance of public works owned by the federal, states and local governments. This project has a life span of three months.

“It is expected that both the knowledge and skills acquired in the execution of this project will be helpful in making the participants become self-employed later in life. I will like to use this opportunity to call on the private sector to show interest in employing these participants after they have acquired additional knowledge and skills in the process of implementing this programme. Many of the participants in this programme will, in the future, become self -employed and ultimately become employers of labour”, he said.

In his address, a director at the NDE headquarters, Abuja, Dr. Michael Mbata, who represented the Acting Director-General of the agency, Malam Abubakar Nuhu, said the agency, as the apex job creation agency of the federal government, has been in the fore front in the fight against poverty and joblessness.

He noted that under the successful conduct of the pilot states of the programme within the first quarter of 2020 in eight states of Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina and Kwara, President Buhari approved the implementation to all the 36 states of the federation and FCT.

Sir Edward Nkwegu, the state chairman of the special works program, in his address, said the 13,000 beneficiaries will be engaged between January and March; even as N780, 000,000 will be expended on the beneficiaries of the public works as salaries for the three months.

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