Despite the suspension of the Federal Government Special Public Works Programme by the National Assembly, the Federal Government says the programme has kicked off across the country.
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo on Tuesday, inaugurated special committees in all the states of the Federation and the FCT for the selection of applicants for the programme.
The SPW is a post-COVID-19 poverty alleviation programme, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, under which 1,000 persons are to be employed from each of the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.
The initiative is expected to commence on October 1 and according to the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, each beneficiary will be paid N20,000 monthly to carry out public works.
In a virtual inauguration conference jointly addressed by the Director-General, National Directorate of Employment, Dr Nasir Ladan Argungu in Abuja, the Minister said: “These Committees would be saddled with the responsibility of identifying the public works to be executed in each of the LGAs in all the States. This would be in addition to projects already identified by several Federal Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals in different localities across the country.
“Having accepted the recommendations, we also ensured that the composition of the Committees is multi-sectoral and local enough to balance all the competing interests in different States. Your selection, therefore, was a result of a painstaking process we carried out to ensure that we make the exercise as credible as possible,” the Minister said.
“The 1,000 persons you will recruit per LGA would be engaged by the Federal Government between October and December this year to carry out public works that are peculiar to each Local Government Area.
“They would be paid a total of N60,000 each (that is N20,000 per month). They would be engaged in roads rehabilitation and social housing construction, urban and rural sanitation, health extension and other critical services,” he explained.
He further stated that the programme could be extended or repeated every year.
“After the selection of those to be engaged, they still have to be captured by some selected banks we are in talks with, their account opened, and their BVNs obtained. This is because Mr President has directed that everyone must be paid through their BVNs to eliminate fraud in the programme.
“As a result, I direct that all the States’ Selection Committees have just three weeks to complete the selection process and return the names of those selected to us for further processing with the banks.
“My belief is that if the committees adhere strictly to the guidelines given to them, they are bound to achieve the targets set by Mr President to reach out to 774,000 Nigerians who are largely indigent and itinerant worker,” he added.