Nigeria’s Foreign affairs minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama has flagged-off the Federal Government’s Extended Special Public Works, SPW, programme, targeted at 774,000 youths across the country.
The job scheme, being engineered by the National Directorate of Employment [NDE] for unskilled, semi-skilled and unemployed graduates in every State of the federation, provides jobs for 1,000 youths per local government.
17,000 youths have been selected to benefit from the scheme in Enugu State.
Speaking at the Michael Okpara Square venue of the event, Onyeama, who stood in for President Muhammadu Buhari, disclosed that the exercise is part of the measures devised by the present administration to lift many Nigerians, especially the vulnerable out of poverty.
He said that the administration had a work plan to empower 100 million Nigerians within a period of ten years.
He lamented that Nigerian Youths had been faced with serious challenges in the past ten to twenty years, but that President Buhari was bent on revising the ugly trend with his target of providing enabling environments that could create jobs for one hundred million Nigerians in the next ten years.
His words, “our youths have had it difficult in the last ten to twenty years. But President Buhari is committed to changing the trend. He has a target for the next ten years.”
He further said that the federal government had established an enabling environment for job creation that will guarantee a living wage for Nigerians.
Onyeama commended the chairman of Enugu State selection committee of the scheme, Chief Gbazueagu Nweke Gbazueagu and members of his committee, for doing a good job.
In a remark, the acting Director-General of the NDE, Mallam Abubakar Fikpo, represented by Mrs Josephine Oluka, a permanent secretary, expressed gratitude to President Buhari for the special job initiative.
He said, “the Extended Special Public Works [SPW] programme has been designed as a veritable tool through which lives of 774,000 unemployed Nigerians will be positively touched in the next three months.
“Our communities will receive a facelift through the activities of the participants as they will engage in various community/environment specific public works activities ranging from drainage, clearing and maintenance,vegetation control, feeder roads maintenance, irrigation, great green wall and orchard maintenance, etc.”
He said that appropriate working tools, as well as protective wears, had been provided for the participants in their daily work schedule.
Also speaking, Gbazueagu expressed gratitude to all members of the committee, both at the state, local government and ward levels, for their commitment throughout the selection process.
He advised the participants to use the opportunity to venture into small scale enterprises.