By Florence Ugbem
Governor Samuel Ortom has called for a more sustainable programme in the future that can provide career for unemployed youths in the country.
Governor Ortom who made the call recently at the flag-off of the Extended Special Public Works Programme (ESPW), held at the IBB Square, Makurdi said that the time frame of the programme was too short. He called for a more sustainable programme that will provide career for unemployed youths in the society, stating that it is the responsibility of government to engage the youths.
Represented by his deputy, Engr Benson Abounu, he commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for the manner in handling the affairs of the nation, which he said is not discriminatory. He commended the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, for successfully carrying out the policy.
He appealed to the participants to carry out their duties seriously and utilise the opportunity given to them, in order to equip themselves even beyond the programme.
Delivering his keynote address, the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, explained that the ESPW programme is aimed at shielding the most vulnerable from the ravaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
He explained that the programme will last for three months and will provide the necessary economic palliatives to the 23,000 unemployed youths in the state. Also, he added that youths who diligently participate in the project implementation may deploy the knowledge acquired to become self employed.
In his welcome address, the Coordinator, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mr Musa Bala Sadauki, revealed that (ESPW) programme is an outcome of the pilot special public work programme in the rural areas, approved by President Buhari and implemented by NDE.
He explained that the programme is a significant step in Nigeria’s quest to win the war against mass unemployment, as well as to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
He further explained that communities will receive facelift through the activities of the participants, as they will engage in various community/environment specific public works activities, ranging from drainage clearing, maintaining vegetation control and feeder road maintenance. Also, that all working tools have been provided for participants. He charged participants from the 23 local government areas to reciprocate the kind gestures of the president.
In a vote of thanks, one of the participants from Tarka Local Government Area, Mr Emmanuel Moti, thanked the president for the laudable initiative, he promised on behalf of the participants to put in their best in order to be useful to themselves and the community.