The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday commended the Federal Government for the establishment of a 774,000 special jobs scheme, saying a total of 16,000 employments will be generated in Ekiti alone with a sum of N960 million injected into the state’s economy.
Fayemi canvassed for the extension of the scheme beyond the three months specified period to enable a greater number of people to benefit from the scheme.
In the same vein, the Minister of Trade, Investment and Industry and the first executive Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Niyi Adebayo, described the programme as a landmark policy targeted at mitigating poverty and tackle the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The duo spoke in Ado Ekiti on Thursday during the official flag-off of the 774,000 Special Public Works initiative in Ekiti State.
Fayemi, represented by his Deputy, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, said provision of 16,000 jobs at a time Covid 19 was pounding the country would create economic leverage for the state, saying the policy was specifically designed by the federal government to cushion the effect of unemployment in the system.
He described the innovation as the most potent intervention programme in history, which will attract 16,000 jobs with each collecting N20, 000 monthly.
Fayemi said the selection was devoid of political and ethnic considerations, warning that any beneficiary that won’t abide by the rules should bow out honourably.
Fayemi said: “The state was indeed lucky to be enlisted as one of the eight pilot states for the commencement of the programme, with the beneficiaries receiving a sum of N20, 000 for three months that the programme would last.
“We are pleading that the programme is extended beyond three months, so that more people, which can be as many as 20,000 and more can benefit from Ekiti alone”.
Fayemi added: “We are grateful to the federal government for making Ekiti one of the eight states where the programme commenced. We are starting with Ekiti East, Gbonyin, and Moba local governments.
“The beneficiaries will engage in public works like drainage digging and clearing, feeder road maintenance, Irrigation /carnal clearing, cleaning of public infrastructure, among others.
“I am particularly excited because a programme like this will reduce employment and mitigate poverty and the sufferings of the people.
“The programme will be keenly monitored by NDE and the state government. The implementation coming at a time like this apt, because of the effect of COVID-19. We consider the scheme as a veritable tool to empower our people, for its multiplying effect across the 774 Lgs can’t be quantified and this shows that President Buhari is determined to tackle poverty and unemployment in Nigeria.
“When you check the whopping sum of N960 million that will be injected into the Ekiti’s economy, you will realise that it would be of monumental benefit to our State.
“I beseech the beneficiaries to be focused. And be rest assured that Ekiti can provide them permanent jobs in private and public sectors in future if they are found worthy and diligent in this scheme”.
The Minister of Trade, Investment and Industry, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, stated that President Buhari won’t rest in his resolve to tackle unemployment in the country.
Adebayo added that the federal government has initiated several intervention programmes to rescue people from poverty.
“They include, Micronational Youth investment fund, which was to empower 500,000 youth, the MSME survival fund to cushion the effect of Covid 19 and positioning the youth for future leadership in business and Artisan Empowerment Grant, targeting 333,000 beneficiaries with N30,000 monthly for six months.
“I appeal to the state government to promote this programme . The 16,000 beneficiaries must be resolute and believe in the policy of the President Buhari -led government”.
Also speaking, the Acting Director-General, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mallam Abubakar Fikpo, urged the beneficiaries to be diligent for the scheme to be a success.
“The 16,000 beneficiaries will be positively touched in the next three months. They will work in their localities and we appeal to the state government and the monitoring teams to partner our royal fathers to ensure the success of the programme”.