The Oyo State Government has commended the Federal Government initiative for establishment of the Extended Special Public Works(ESPW) programme, aimed at addressing unemployment challenges facing the country.
Speaking on behalf of Oyo state governor, the Deputy Governor, Engr Rauf Olaniyan, gave the commendation on Tuesday, during the flag off of the programme in the state, held at Akinyele Local Government Secretariat, Moniya, Ibadan.
Olaniyan explained that the ESPW programme was a direct move to arrest unemployment in the country, noting that the programme would go a long way in bringing succour to the living standard of the 1000 beneficiaries from Oyo state.
He stated that the programme would complement efforts of the state government in addressing the problem of unemployment in Oyo state.
He disclosed that the state government would soon give letters of appointment to 5,000 teachers and over 2,000 non teaching staff as permanent workers in the service of the state.
He added that new medical personnel would soon be offered letters of appointment too, apart from some lawyers that have been recruited as state counsel, ” all these are aiming to reduce the unemployment rate.
“So you will agree with me that this programme is actually complementing the effort of the state government in bringing unemployment in Oyo state to minimum level.”
He further commended members of the state committee for the smooth flag off of the programme, but however, expressed flaw in the selection process of the committee members, maintaining that the state government should be fully carried along.
According to him, only one slot was given to the state government out of nine slots, urging government to correct the lapses in the next phase of the programme.
He implored the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to use performance indicator for the participants to be able to assess progress of the programme.
He also urged the beneficiaries to see the programme as an opportunity to contribute their quota to the nation’s building and also improve their living standards.
In his welcome address, Mr Festus Keyamo – the Minister of State, Ministry of Labour and Employment, said that ESPW was aimed at shielding the most vulnerable from the ravaging effects of COVID19 pandemic which include but not limited to, pervasive hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and joblessness.”
The Minister, who was represented at the occasion by Mr Olufemi Ajao, said the programme engaged 774,000 selected unemployed Nigerians across the 774 local government areas in the country.
He added that the programme which would last for three months; will provide the necessary economic palliatives to the 774,000 unemployed youths.
He further disclosed that the Federal Government would closely monitor the implementation of the programme to ascertain the efficient utilisation of every resource, human/materials, committed to the programme.
On his part, the Director General of NDE, Mallam Nuhu Fikpo, whose address was read by the NDE coordinator in Oyo state; Mrs Olayinka Olayemi, charged every beneficiary of the programme to reciprocate the gesture of the President Mohammadu Buhari led Government, by diligently executing their assigned tasks throughout the duration of the programme.
Fikpo also requested Nigerians living within all the benefiting communities to cooperate with the participants and officials as they go about their duties.