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Youths celebrate as ESPW kicks off in Taraba, PWDs protest in Kebbi

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Buhari okays Fikpo as NDE acting DG
Joy was the mood in Taraba State yesterday, as the Federal Government kicked off the Extended Special Public Work Programme (ESPW). The beneficiaries included Persons With Disabilities ((PWDs).

But it was a different stroke in the North West state of Kebbi, as PWDs expressed dismay that they were left out of the programme.

Armed with the tools provided by the Federal Government for the three-month scheme, the Taraba beneficiaries were of the belief that with the monthly stipend of N20,000 each, the programme would go a long way in addressing their present economic predicaments.

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Some of them, especially PWDs, told The Guardian that the issue of poverty in the country would have been conquered had the Federal Government come up with the programme since inception of this administration.

Urging state governors to emulate the gesture to reduce poverty, especially among the physically-challenged across the country, the beneficiaries stressed the need to guard the programme from contractor-politicians.

THE National Vice President of Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities (JONAPWD), Alhaji Abdullahi Usman, has equally expressed dismay with the Minister of Labour and Productivity for not including his members as beneficiaries of the programme in Kebbi.

He told newsmen yesterday in Birnin Kebbi that the programme, which was launched in the state at the weekend by the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Mallami, did not factor in PWDs.

“Our members can even do better than the ordinary people. There is need to include people with disabilities in any government programme. We are also able human beings like others,” he added.

Usman slammed Kadimyya Foundation for giving the association 36 tricycles instead of the 330 promised them.

He then warned the politicians and other stakeholders to stop using the association to steal public funds.
MEANWHILE, President Muhammadu Buhari has formally approved the nomination of Abubakar Fikpo as the Acting Director-General (DG) of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), pending the appointment of a substantive DG for the agency.

Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stated yesterday: “President Buhari has formally conveyed to the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, his approval of the nomination of Abubakar Fikpo as the Acting Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, pending the appointment of a substantive Director-General for the agency.”

“Last month, the President relieved the former DG of his appointment, and directed the minister to nominate an acting DG to superintend over the agency.”

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