Sunday, 17 January 2021

Ayade commends Federal Government's efforts to reduce unemployment

Governor Ben Ayade has commended the Federal Government's initiative of the Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) Programme following its commencement in the country.

He made this commendation on Tuesday, at the flag-off of the Extended Special Public Works -ESPW Programme (774,000 jobs) for Cross River State, held at the Management Development Institute(MDI) Field, Calabar

Governor Ayade represented by his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu lauded President Mohammadu Buhari for the initiative aimed at waging war against unemployment as well as to ameliorate the socio-economic effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

"One of the things that is  affecting this Nation is insecurity occasioned by joblessness pointing out that the provision of 774,000 jobs will really help in reducing poverty especially as it will go through every Local Government Area"

"I sincerely hope that those selected will conduct themselves so well on whatsoever they are mandated to do, with a call on President Buhari to make the job permanent as three months is grossly inadequate to achieve its aim"

"The state government is poised to grow the economy of the state by complimenting the Federal Government's effort with the implementation of a similar project that has engaged Cross Riverians especially her youth across the 18 Local Government to battle with the scourge of poverty through the engagement of 1000 youths across the 18 Local Governments of the state with emphasis on Agricultural Services, Homeland Security and Border Patrol before the commencement of ESPW"

In a keynote address, Honorable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Power, Prince Goddy Jeddy-Agba said the Extended Special Public Works Programme is an outcome of the pilot Special Public Works Programme in the rural areas approved by President Mohammadu Buhari and implemented by the National Directorate of Employment-NDE in the early part of the year 2020.

Adding, the Minister, who was represented by the Board member, Nigerian Electricity Management Agency, Sir Maurice Ibok said the pilot phase was aimed at creating its impact at addressing the ballooning  unemployment and rising insecurity in some parts of the country.

"This strategy was adopted to fast track the achievement of the  National Economic Sustainability and Growth Plan (NESGP) 2017-2020"

"With the emergence of the novel COVID-19 pandemic, Mr President directed the Economy and Sustainability Committee-ESC under the leadership of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo to craft economic measures to cushioned the adverse economic effect occasioned by COVID-19"

The Minister also pointed out that the Federal Government through the National Directorate of Employment - NDE and relevant stakeholders will closely monitor the implementation of the programme for overall success which is aimed at shielding the most vulnerable from the ravaging effect of COVID-19 which are not limited to poverty, environmental degradation and joblessness.

Earlier in his welcome address, Acting Director General, National Directorate of Employment represented by his Deputy Director, Information and Public Relations, Mr. Edmund Onwuliri maintained that the SPW-Programme has been designed as a veritable tool through which 774,000 unemployed Nigerians will be positively touched in the next three months.

He further asserted that communities will receive a facelift through the activities of the participants as they will be engaged in various community/environment specific public works ranging from drainage, clearing and maintenance, vegetation control, Federal road maintenance, among others.

Advising the beneficiaries, the Director-General says that "beneficiaries should use this opportunity to acquire skills and become self employed while government may in due course create an exit options"

In a goodwill message, Paramount Ruler of Calabar Municipality,  congratulated the participants for being selected and charged them to utilize their youthful energy in the actualization of the Federal Government's initiative which will benefit the public.

"The equipments for the work is meant for the public and should be guided judiciously and should serve the purpose  it was meant for", he added..

In his vote of thanks, the State Coordinator of NDE, Mr. Gabriel Udam express appreciation to God for the success of the event and to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Mohammadu Buhari, describing him as a man who is passionate about the vulnerable especially poor Nigerians in the rural areas/environment.

Commending the State Government's effort in ensuring the success of this programme, Mr. Udam said, "this programme wouldn't have gotten to this stage if the Cross River State Government was not supportive from the selection stage to the implementation stage"

The ceremony featured inspection and project demonstration by the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, Minister's representative, Honourable Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mrs Stella Ereme Odey-Ekpo,  Local Government Council Chairmen and other top government functionaries as well as the beneficiaries.

Deputy Governor's Press Unit, Calabar

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