The Federal government of Nigeria last week flagged off the extended special works programme for the provision of 774,000 jobs in Benue state.
Minister of Special Duties and Inter Governmental Affairs, Sen. George Akume who performed the ceremony on behalf of president Muhammadu Buhari in Makurdi the Benue state capital said the aim of the programme was to shield the most vulnerable from the effects of covid-19 through the engagement of 23,000 selected unemployed youths across the 23 Local Government Areas in Benue state .
The minister noted that the pilot phase of the programme already commenced in eight (8) States and Benue had just been included in the second phase which is to last for three months. He urged participants in the project to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to become self employed thereafter.
Akume emphasized that the FG shall closely monitor the implementation of the programme to ensure efficient utilization of resources committed to it.
Earlier, State Coordinator, National Directorate of Employment, Mr Musa Bala sadauki who spoke on behalf of the convener and Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Festua keyamo, explained that the extended special public works programme was aimed at touching the lives of 774,000 unemployed youths and will last for the next three months.
Mr Sadauki pointed out some critical steps which the programme seeks to win the war against unemployment as well as the ravaging effect of the covid 19 pandemic.
In a response, Benue state Governor samuel ortom represented by his Deputy, Engr Benson Abounu commended the FG’s efforts in curbing unemployment but appealed that sustainable programmes be worked out inorder to provide career opportunities for the youths to curtail the menace of armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry and other vices perpetrated by youths who are not engaged in any venture.
Governor ortom also appealed to the beneficiaries of the programme to make judicious use of the opportunity for self development.