By Victor Nwachukwu
Owerri, Jan. 18, 2021 Imo Gov. Hope Uzodinma has flagged off Federal Government’s extended Special Public Works (SPW) programme in the state.
At the flag off ceremony in Owerri on Monday, Uzodinma thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) for the initiative.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Cosmas Iwu, charged the beneficiaries to prove their worth through commitment to duty.
” We are grateful to President Muhammadu Buhari and his team for this people-friendly initiative, and we urge beneficiaries of this grand programme to show gratitude through unflinching commitment to duty,” he said.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the Director-General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, described the programme as the single most far-reaching employment initiative in the nation’s history.
Fikpo, who was represented by Mrs Henrietta Achigbu, a Director in NDE, thanked Buhari and Uzodinma for creating the enabling environment for NDE activities to thrive in the state.
He also thanked the chairman of NDE board and the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, for the initiative.
The director-general described the initiative as a step to winning war against mass unemployment.
According to Fikpo, all participants in the programme have been duly documented.
He added that appropriate working tools had been provided for them.
He charged the participants to reciprocate the Federal Government’s gesture by carrying out their assignments with zeal.
He said that each of the participants would receive 20,000 monthly for a period of three months, and urged them to put the money to good use.
” The SPW is a very significant step to win the war against mass unemployment, and the NDE has remained at the forefront of this war.
” This is the single most far-reaching employment initiative in Nigeria’s history, and we urge participants to take advantage of the opportunity to improve their lives,” he said.
The Minister of State for Education and representative of the Federal Government at the event, Mr Chukwueme Nwajiuba, urged Imo citizens to continue to support and identify with the government’s people-friendly initiatives.
He called for reciprocity on the part of the 27,000 beneficiaries, – 1000 from each of the 27 LGAs in the state.
” To whom much is given, a lot is expected.
“The Muhammadu Buhari-led government means business. This programme aims at cushioning the effects of unemployment occasioned even more by the COVID-19 pandemic.
” These works are public in their nature, and we urge beneficiaries to give back to society,” he said.
The NDE Coordinator in Imo, Mrs Ngozi Iheanacho, said that the selection of the participants was based on merit, and urged the participants to prove their worth.
She thanked staff of the NDE, especially those in the Public Works Department, for their painstaking efforts to ensure the success of the event.
In a goodwill message, Mr Sylvester Obinna, the SPW Selection Committee Chairman in Imo, thanked all those who worked hard to ensure the success of the event.
He said that the participants had been trained to put in their best.