President Muhammadu Buhari may be committing the sum of N46.44 billion for the salary of selected ad hoc workers in three months. The cost is projected for the coverage of the first phase of the Federal Government’s Special Public Works Programme extended to the 774 local governments in Nigeria. The Federal Government will be recruiting 1,000 itinerant, unskilled workers each in all the 774 Local Government Areas across the country.
The Minister of State for the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo SAN, inaugurating the States’ Selection Committees of the Federal Government’s Special Public Works Programme in Abuja on Monday, disclosed that “the programme was graciously approved by President Muhammadu Buhari;” adding that it “is aimed principally at recruiting 1,000 itinerant, unskilled workers each in all the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Nigeria. In total, we shall be recruiting 774,000 Nigerians for this programme.”
The Minister maintained that the 1,000 persons the State Committees will recruit per LGA would be engaged by the Federal Government between October and December this year, that is three months, 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),” the Minister declared.
Apparently, the Federal Government will be spending N15,480,000,000 per month on the salary of the 774,000 beneficiaries. The government will, therefore, be spending a total of N46.44 billion in the three months duration.
The Minister, Keyamo explained that the 774,000 beneficiaries 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,” he declared.
Keyamo further declared: “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. You must, therefore, see this task as a serious, patriotic national assignment.”
The Minister maintained: “My belief is that 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.”
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