At least 31,000 persons from Akwa Ibom would benefit from the Federal Government’s Extended Special Public Works Programme (ESPWP) for 774,000 job seekers in the 774 local government areas across the country.
Governor Udom Emmanuel while performing the official flag off of the programme in Uyo yesterday expressed appreciation to the FG adding that it would create 1,000 jobs in each of the 31 LGAs of the State that would engage youths in communities and villages in skilled and unskilled professions.
Emmanuel who was represented by his deputy Mr Moses Ekpo expressed optimism that communities in the state would derive socio-economic benefits from the implementation of the programme through the engagement and activities of the participants.
The benefits according to the Governor would range from feeder road maintenance, drainage clearing and maintenance, street clearing and general sanitation exercise among others.
“This is implemented in collaboration with the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the ESPW is targeted at shielding the most vulnerable skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled youths in the 774 Local Government Areas, in our state.
“It is projected that 31,000 youths will benefit from the ESPW programme in the initial three months of its implementation.” He said.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, who was represented by Arc. Ubokutom Nyah, said the introduction of the scheme became necessary with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Akpabio stated that the programme which is supervised by the Ministry of Labour and Employment would adopt a proactive approach in engaging youths and stimulating the economy.
Acting Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mallam Abubakar who was represented by the Deputy Director of NDE, Engr. Enechi Ngozika, said the introduction of the Public Works programme was in line with the quest for the nation to win the war against mass unemployment, poverty, and ameliorate the effect of COVID-19.
“It is my honour and pleasure to report that after the successful conduct of the pilot phase of this programme within the first quarter of 2020 in eight states namely, Adamawa, Borno, Ebony, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari, approved for it’s implementation in all the 36 states and the FCT.” Abubakar said.
In a goodwill message, State Commissioner of Labour and Manpower Planning, Mr Sunny Ibuot, said the programme would complement the industrial programmes of the state government and commended the coordinating body in the state for working tirelessly in order to flag- off the programme.
Ibuot called for proper supervision of the programme to ensure that the aims and objectives are achieved.