We’ll deliver targets on 744,000 SPW jobs, NDE chief assures Nigerians

THE Director General (acting), National Directorate of Employment (NDE) Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, has assured President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians that the directorate will deliver the targets on the 774,000 Special Public Works (SPW).

The SPW was launched recently when the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, flagged-off the programme at the popular Old Parade Ground in Abuja, while other ministers performed the flagged-off in their respective states of origin.

“May I, through the Minister of State, Labour and Employment/Chairman NDE Board and Supervising Minister of NDE, assure the President and indeed the nation that we will deliver the targets whatsoever, because we have full support, motivation and guidance from our amiable Chairman of the NDE Board.” Mallam Fikpo said.

The NDE director general explained that after the successful conduct of pilot phase of the programme within the first quarter of 2020 in eight states; which include Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina and Kwara, President Buhari approved for its implementation in all the 36 states and the FCT; and “indeed by deliberate strategy to all the seven hundred and seventy four (774) local government areas of Nigeria.”

He described the project as the actualisation of single most far-reaching grassroots based employment creation initiative in the history of the country.

Fikpo said the entire management and staff of the NDE were totally committed and dedicated to the smooth and effective implementation of the 774,000 jobs programme; adding, “we are conscious of the expectations of Mr. President and his sincere desire and commitment to support the less privileged at a time when the county and indeed the whole world strives on the part of recovery from the effects and shackles of Covid-19 pandemic.

He explained that the programme was a very significant step in Nigeria’s quest to win the war against mass unemployment as well as to ameliorate the effect of Covid-19 pandemic.

As the apex job creation agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, he said the NDE in the last three decades had remained in the fore front in the fight against poverty and joblessness, adding that one of the core mandates of the NDE is the exploration and promotion of the job creation potentials available within the public works sector.

He emphasized that the labour absorptive capacity of the public works sector made it a very critical vehicle in the job creation process and maintenance of public infrastructure.

He said: “The Extended Special Public Works (SPW) programme has been designed as a veritable tool through which the 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, among many others.

“Appropriate working tools as well as protective wears have been provided for all the participants in their daily work schedule. Equally, all participants have been duly documented and their details captured by designated banks to guarantee a fraud free, transparent and fair service delivery. And to ensure effective monitoring of the programme, supervisors have been appointed in all the electoral wards of the country to conduct supervisory roles.”

He charged all the participants nationwide to reciprocate the gesture of the President Buhari-led government by diligently executing their assigned tasks throughout the duration of the programme.

He also appealed to Nigerians living within all the benefiting communities to cooperate with the participants and officials as they go about their duties.

“At the NDE, we are confident that the proper implementation of this programme will contribute significantly to the upliftment and provision of succour to unemployed Nigerians,” he added.

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