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Buhari raises fresh hope of 774,000 new jobs



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  • FG inaugurates States selection committees

President Muhammadu Buhari has raised fresh hope of creating new 774,000 jobs for the unemployed youths in Nigeria.

The federal government on Monday inaugurated States Selection Committees on the projected 774,000 job creation by President Muhammadu Buhari in the 774 local governments in Nigeria.

The inauguration was held at the Conference Room of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Phase 1, Federal Secretariat, Abuja

The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, in a statement in Abuja, indicated that the Federal Government’s Special Public Works Programme, was graciously approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, explaining that it is aimed principally at recruiting 1,000 itinerant, unskilled workers from each of the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria.

Keyamo stated that the APC government decided to embark on the project in its progressive march towards executing the programme after the painstaking work of an Inter-Ministerial Committee that he inaugurated in April 2020. “This Inter-Ministerial Committee drawn from eight Ministries and headed by the Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) made far-reaching recommendations on ways and means of executing this programme, one of which is the setting up of States’ Selection Committees to identify and recruit those to be engaged under the Programme.

“These Committees would also be saddled with the responsibility of identifying the public works to be executed in each of the LGAs in all the States. This would be in addition to projects already identified by several Federal Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals in different localities across the country,” Keyamo highlighted.

Keyamo further said that the composition of the Committees is multi-sectoral and local enough to balance all the competing interests in the different States. “Your selection, therefore, was a result of a painstaking process we carried out to ensure that we make the exercise as credible as possible,” he added.

Keyamo further highlighted: “The 1,000 persons you will recruit per LGA would be engaged by the Federal Government between October and December this year to carry out public works that are peculiar to each Local Government Area. They would be paid a total of N60,000 each (that is N20,000 per month). They would be engaged in roads rehabilitation and social housing construction, urban and rural sanitation, health extension and other critical services.

“Depending on how successful the programme is or how buoyant the Federal Government’s purse is, this programme may either be extended or repeated every year. There are also various suggestions on some exit strategies for this programme, one of which is to move these workers to some agricultural projects, but nothing is concrete yet.

“You must therefore see this task as a serious, patriotic national assignment. This programme can rightly be described as one of President Buhari’s many star programmes for the lowly, weak and vulnerable people in our society. Hence, you must treat it as such.”

The Minister said that because of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, they could not all gather in one place to do this inauguration, where they could have also physically handed over their letters of appointments. He assured that all the formal letters of appointments will be in their various States’ offices of the NDE this week for everyone to collect.

He noted that only the Chairmen, Vice-Chairmen and Secretaries that joined them by virtual means on Monday. The Minister added that all other members in the Committees would be contacted by the Secretaries as to the time and place for their inaugural meetings and how they will proceed with the assignments. “However, I direct that all meetings should be done in the various State offices of the NDE or some other neutral venues in order to avoid undue influences on the Committees,” he said.

The Minister cautioned that they are already running out of time on the execution of the programme. “This is because a lot still have to be done before the various works begin in October. After the selection of those to be engaged, they still have to be captured by some selected banks we are in talks with, their account opened, and their BVNs obtained. This is because Mr. President has directed that everyone must be paid through their BVNs to eliminate fraud in the programme. With this measure, no single person can be paid twice,” he added.

“As a result, I direct that all the States’ Selection Committees have just three weeks to complete the selection process and return the names of those selected to us for further processing with the banks. We are hereby releasing immediately, all the names and phone numbers of every member of the various Committees in the entire country for easy access by Nigerians in their various localities to make cases for their inclusions.


“Members of the Committees, in turn, will also reach out to various sectors of their different States to recruit eligible Nigerians.  The finer details of how these would be done will communicated to the Committees through their various Chairmen and Secretaries.

“You are therefore enjoined to wait for those details from the Chairmen and Secretaries before proceeding. These would be ready in the next few days in the form of Guidelines for the Operation of the States’ Selection Committees,” Keyamo said.

Keyamo affirmed: “…if the Committees adhere strictly to the Guidelines given to them, they are bound to achieve the targets set by Mr. President to reach out to 774,000 Nigerians who are largely indigent and itinerant workers. Fortunately, you are saddled with this onerous task and I enjoin you to ensure it is a success. “However, the Federal Government will not hesitate to remove and replace any member of the Committees that does not adhere strictly to the Guidelines given to the Committees or acts in such a way and manner as to undermine the purpose of this programme.”