774,000 Jobs: FG approves extension of Special Public Works Programme – Keyamo
774000 Jobs FG approves: The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo has disclosed that President Mohammadu Buhari-led’s administration has approved the extension of the Special Public Works Programme.
Keyamo speaking in Nasarawa, Wednesday, at the opening of a three-day training/meeting of zonal directors and state coordinators of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) said President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Directorate to develop a blueprint for the second phase of the program.
Keyamo assuring the continuation of the Programme however noted that at this moment, it’s not clear when and how the second phase of the program will be conducted.
He said: “We do not know when the next program will commence and do not also know the format it will take. This meeting will formulate all of that and then submit our report to Mr. President who will decide the next line of action.
But what is sure is that the program will continue. This workshop is to take stock of the challenges that we confronted in the implementation process of the 774,000 SPW and fine-tune the processes going forward.”
The Minister who emphasized the recent events in the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) further disclosed that the attempt to mitigate the good intent of the program prompted the unceremonious sack of the immediate past Director-General of NDE, Dr. Ladan Argungu.
“There were attempts at embarking on a ‘second list, which was why the immediate former Director-General was removed. When I saw that, I complained to Mr. President that the program might fail because people did not follow the laid down guidelines.
774000 Jobs FG approves
People that complained they did not get paid were not on the list that the supervising minister approved. The allegation that I hijacked the list did not make sense because I am the supervising minister of the NDE. The buck stops on my table. While I was the one that would choose those that would be on the list, it is my job to set the policy on how to choose the beneficiaries.”
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Mr. Keyamo quelling critics who alleged that the Special Public Works Programme is aimed at rewarding party cronies noted that “the program is different from loan schemes that give money to build cottage industries – the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) does that,” adding that “the vulnerable people found in churches, mosques, markets, civil society, and labor groups were part of the committee that chose the beneficiaries.”