NDE, Lagos government seal pact on exit plans for beneficiaries of public work scheme
Plans are underway by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and Lagos State government to provide exit strategies for the beneficiaries of the extended Special Works Programme (SPW) of the Federal Government.
The Lagos State Coordinator of the NDE, Mrs Celina Edwards, who disclosed to The Guardian, explained that the plan would include the 20 local government councils of the state, as well as some agencies of the government.
She said while agencies such as Lagos State Public Works Corporation, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency would work with the councils, it would be the duty of the councils to determine the specific number and area the beneficiaries would be deployed.
She added: “Yes the NDE is currently collaborating with some Lagos State agencies and the 20 local government councils on sustainable exit strategies for the beneficiaries of the special public works. Not just agencies, but there are plans to involve the states’ Ministry of Environment. These agencies of Lagos State need our participants to move to the next level in the delivery of their mandates. The idea is to localise development. The focus of the NDE is to ensure local participation. The coming on board of these 20 local government councils in Lagos state is a clear indication that those that will be recruited at the local government level will work within that local government and will therefore be a part of the development agenda at the local level.”
Edwards highlighted that the parastatals would work with local government councils in executing their mandates, adding, “that collaboration will help with the exit plans of the scheme because when the beneficiaries demonstrate capacity during their engagement period, they could be engaged in permanent employment by the local council.”
She revealed that the details of the collaboration would be unveiled after the official flag off of the programme, which is expected to be done today, Tuesday.
Her words: “We want to get the flagoff ceremony out of the way first before we go into working out the fraction that could be employed by the councils. The fraction will come from the local government. If, for example, LAWMA wants to employ 3,000 workers, most of them will come from other local government councils and not just the local council where the services are required.
“The local councils already have a design on how they intend to use the Special Public Work beneficiaries. The councils are not going to use the beneficiaries for only menial jobs. No. There are university graduates amongst the beneficiaries and many are literate. Even some of them that are secondary school leavers are empowering themselves through the Internet to see where they can fit in. Such people can be used to collect data and other critical information. They can monitor trucks and activities at the dump sites. So, they won’t be used as menial workers only. Even though the scheme is about 80 per cent for unskilled workers, there are still areas that literates amongst them can function.”
The Lagos State NDE boss added that many of the beneficiaries would also be used in recyclable of materials such as papers and plastics among others.
“The recycling would not be done for LAWMA but for themselves. People are making money from recycled papers, bottles, metals and plastics. These are other avenues for creating jobs for them after the programme,” she stated.