The Federal Government on Monday turned down demands for the review of the ongoing Extended Special Public Works Programme (SPW), otherwise known as 774,000 jobs, in line with the population of each Local Government Area of the country.
Doing so, it submitted, would plunge the exercise into fresh controversy.
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The Minister of Mine and Steel Development, Architect Olamilekan Adegbite said this on Monday while speaking with newsmen on the sidelines of the flag off of the SPW jobs at June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Adegbite was reacting to the demands separately made by Governor Dapo Abiodun, and the Akarigbo and paramount ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi that the FG should consider population of each LG in subsequent exercise rather than flat slots allocated to all LGs irrespective of its population size.
“We don’t want to cause controversy. Constitutionally and administratively in this country, Nigeria is divided into 774 local governments, the only way to be fair is to have equal representation per Local Government.
“We cannot go into detail on how big are the local governments, these are palliatives,” Adegbite told journalists.
He explained that the job was meant to mitigate the effect of COVID – 19 on the youths and by extension tackle the unemployment rate in the country.
“Through this programme, about N 400 million will go into the economy of Ogun state every month for the next three months and that’s about N 1.2 billion. That will mean a great impact on the local economy,” he said.
In his address, Abiodun who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Engr Noimot Salako – Oyedele applauded the job creation, noting that it would reduce number of unemployment rate in the state.
Abiodun stated that the state had put a monitoring team in place to ensure proper monitoring and evaluation of the programme.
“We have a team in place which has been working to make sure that the monitoring and evaluation is in place. It’s very important for our people to participate and participate well. We will try our best to make sure that our citizens do things well,” he said.