The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo on Thursday said that the new Federal Government’s job scheme ‘Special Public Works Programme’ is to take-off in October and will be piloted in eight states.
The Minister who disclosed this development at a news conference in Abuja said the programme will engage jobless youths in the rural areas for traffic control, street cleaning, clearing of drainage, sweeping markets, road maintenance, and cleaning of public infrastructures like school and health centres.
According to him, the pilot scheme which will take-off in five local government areas in eight states including Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina and Kwara was designed to mitigate the unemployment rate in the rural areas and the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the programme will engage 1,000 youths in each local government for a period of three (3) months and beneficiaries would be paid N20,000 each as monthly stipend.
“The pilot programme earlier approved by Mr. President was designed to mitigate lack of job opportunities in the rural areas through a short-term engagement of One thousand (1,000) unemployed persons per Local Government Area for a period of three (3) months.
“It is a dry season/off season transient job programme and was originally designed for the rehabilitation/maintenance of public and social infrastructure.
“Participants were to be paid an allowance of N20,000 monthly and were to be recruited largely from the pool of unskilled persons ordinarily resident in those rural areas” he added.
Keyamo also revealed that the scheme is domiciled in the National Directorate of Employment for implementation, stressing that grassroot selection would be prioritized.
He further stated that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the use of selected banks to register and collate data of the beneficiaries for the purpose of accountability.
“The banks will open accounts for all beneficiaries and in the process obtain BVN for those without accounts.
“Consequently, all payments would be made from the CBN directly to the accounts of the beneficiaries. The banks will also simultaneously register the participants for the Special Works Programme” he said.