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Reps mum as FG flags-off 774,000 jobs today

The federal government will today, Tuesday 5, 2021, flag off the Special Public Works (SPW) programme designed to engage 774,000 unemployed persons nationwide after three…

The federal government will today, Tuesday 5, 2021, flag off the Special Public Works (SPW) programme designed to engage 774,000 unemployed persons nationwide after three consecutive postponements.

A formal invitation sent to Daily Trust, on Monday, to provide media coverage for the flag-off, said it would come up at the Sports Complex, Old Parade Ground, Area 10 Garki, Abuja by 11am.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, had on Sunday night via his official Twitter handle, explained that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the commencement of the initiative.

Our correspondent recalled that the programme, designed to employ 1,000 Nigerians from each of the 774 local government areas in the country, was initially scheduled for launch on October 1, 2020.

It was, however, stopped following the power-play between Keyamo and a former Director-General, National Directorate of Employment, Nasir Ladan Argungu, who was sacked December 8, last year.

The initiative was listed to be funded from the N60bn COVID-19 Intervention Fund, according to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed and each of the 774,000 workers will earn N 20,000 monthly for three months duration of the job, amounting to about N46.44 billion.

The ministers are expected to launch the scheme in their respective states in collaboration with the governors.

Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives have kept mum on the decision of the federal government to flag off the programme despite their resolution halting its commencement.

The House had on December 14, 2020 passed the resolution after adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Olajide Olatunbosun.

The House resolved that the programme be put on hold until funds are provided for it in the 2021 budget while the recruitment of 1000 youths from the 774 local government areas is also reviewed.

Some of the members of the House contacted by our reporter declined comment on the issue.

The Chairman, House Committee on Labour and Employment, Rep. Ali Muhammad Wudil, did not return or answered calls as well as messages sent to his phone by our reporter.

Similarly, the House spokesman, Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC, Abia) did not answer his calls.

Meanwhile, one of our correspondents reports that there were no signs that the programme will take-off in Oyigbo and Port Harcourt City LGAs in Rivers State, where he visited yesterday.

It was a similar scenario in Plateau State as the local government secretariats in the state were deserted following the on-going strike by LG workers in the state.

But the chairman of Lafia LGA and the Chairman of Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ( ALGON ) in Nasarawa State, Alhaji Aminu Muazu Maifata, said they are ready for the commencement of the exercise in the state.

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