By Stanley Iwuoha
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said that the Federal Government will empower 13,000 unemployed youths to participate in the maintenance of public works for the three tiers of government.
The Minister said this at the official flag off of the extended special public works programme (ESPWP) in Abakaliki, Ebonyi state.
Dr. Onu said the Special Programme is aimed at maintaining public works of the Local, State and Federal government, adding that a thousand youths each were picked from all Local government Areas in the country.
He further said the Special programme will ensure that all public work projects are well maintained.
“ The work to be done in each Local Government Area may be different, but on the whole, the aim is to ensure that public works are properly and adequately maintained,” he said.
The Minister urged the beneficiaries and relevant stakeholders of the program to show strong commitment in ensuring efficient implementation as the tools and equipment’s have been provided by the Federal Government.
Dr. Onu further said that the programme will aid the participants become sustainable and self-employed from the knowledge and skills they have acquired during the program.
He called on the Organized Private Sector (OPS) to show interest in employing the participants.
“I call on the Private Sector to show interest in employing these participants after they have acquired additional knowledge and skills in the process of implementing the programme”.
According to him, the Federal Government will closely monitor the implementation of the program, in order to ensure efficient use of both human and capital resources.
The Executive Governor of Ebonyi State, .Engr. David Umahi, represented by the Secretary to the State Government Dr. Kenneth Ugbala commended the concern of President Muhammadu Buhari for Ebonyi State and for showcasing his leadership style by providing palliatives such as this programme to ameliorate the effect of Covid 19 pandemic.
He further reiterated the commitment of the State government to collaborate with the Federal government and the steering Committee in the state to make sure the beneficiaries of this programme will have a testimony that will change the story of our nation.
He also promised to set aside funds to empower the beneficiaries to start small scale businesses after the initial three months of engagement.
Chief Umahi believes that with 13,000 youths off the street and productively engaged, crime will be greatly reduced.
In a Goodwill message, the acting Director General of National Directorate of Employment delivered by Director Rural Employment promotion, Dr. Micheal Mbata emphasized the drive of the Federal Government through NDE to win the war against poverty and youth unemployment in Nigeria.
He assured the Federal Goverment that NDE will deliver the target and monitor the smooth implementation of the programme.