Keyamo craves more women in 774,000 public works scheme
To achieve maximum impact of the 774,000 special public works programme of the Federal Government, women must be given more slots, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has said.
At the kick off of the programme in Abuja yesterday, Keyamo argued that engaging more women would ensure the expected outcome trickles down to the family level.
His words: “The implementers of the programme should give women a chance to earn this money. Women are builders of homes and they know exactly where and how to spend the money for the betterment of the family. Give the money to the men, and most of it would be wasted on frivolous items. I believe women should have higher number.”
The minister argued that the special works programme, though initiated by the Federal Government, is owned by the local councils that will determine which tasks are to be executed by those selected to participate in the three-month scheme.
“Every local government area has its own unique needs and area of focus. The 1,000 persons under this programme are for local government areas to use as they deem fit, especially in maintenance of public infrastructure. Amongst those that have been engaged, there are carpenters, welders and builders. The local government councils would then engage them while the Federal Government pays them for the next three months. The programme is for every level of government hence the collaboration between the three tiers,” he stated.
Keyamo, who described the programme as an ephemeral strategy that is expected to last for three months, said he was convinced that it would provide the necessary economic palliatives to the unemployed 774,000 youths.
“The youth who diligently participate in the project implementation may deploy the knowledge/skills acquired to become self-employed. In addition, government and the organised private sector may, in due course, create/provide exit options. The Federal Government shall monitor the implementation of the programme to ascertain efficient utilisation of every resource, human/material committed to it.”
The Acting Director General of the implementing National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Abubakar Fikpo, said the scheme would transform local communities across the country.
“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.”
The NDE boss hinted that appropriate working tools as well as protective wears had been provided for all the participants for their daily work schedules.
To guide against sharp practices, Fikpo said bank details of all the participants had been captured by designated to guarantee a fraud-free, transparent and fair delivery.