Nigeria Launches 774,000 Youths Scheme Job

The federal government officially kick-started the Special Public Works (SPW) program yesterday after a series of hiccups, aimed at employing 774,000 young people.

At the launch of the programme in Abuja, the Minister of State for Labour and Jobs, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), said that it will provide the beneficiaries with economic empowerment.

The SPW, which is scheduled to last for three months, was involved in a dispute between the executive and the National Assembly, with a stipend of N20,000 per month for the participants, leading to the sacking of the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Dr. Nasiru Argungu.

The scheme of public works, is inspired by India and Malaysia and recalls US President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s, it is unlikely to make a major dent in the long-term unemployment issue of the world, but Keyamo said it would offer a “palliative” to the “very bottom of the economy” in the midst of Covid-19’s shock.

Keyamo also said the participants could deploy the skills acquired to become self-employed

“In addition, government and the organised private sector may in due course create/provide exit options.

“It is also aimed at shielding the most vulnerable from the ravaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic, which include, but are not limited to, pervasive hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and joblessness.

“The need to quickly address the above mentioned informed the decision to implement the ESPW. Our target is to immediately engage the 774,000 selected unemployed Nigerians for the programme to execute carefully selected projects across the 774 local government areas in the country,” he stated.

The flag off marked the actualization of the single most far reaching grassroots based job development initiative in the history of the country, NDE Acting Director General, Malam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo said.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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