The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 20-member Selection Committee for the Special Public Works (SPW) programme, a presidential initiative packaged to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been officially inaugurated.
The inauguration ceremony took place at the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) Skill Centre Bwari, Abuja. It was presided over by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Galadima Abdullahi, alongside the Vice Chairman, Michael Ogbodo and the Secretary, Mrs. Noami Nyada.
The trio of Abdullahi, Ogbodo and Nyada had earlier been inaugurated by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, as the executive members of the committee about three weeks ago.
In her welcome address, Mrs. Nyada who is also the FCT NDE Coordinator, said: “The Special Public Works programme is designed to employ One Thousand (1000) persons from each of the 774 Local Government Areas of the country. The initiative is expected to commence in October 2020 and will last for three months. Each beneficiary will be paid twenty thousand naira monthly to carry out public works that are peculiar to their Local Government Areas. This committee is going to be saddled with the responsibility of identifying the public works to be executed in each of the Local Government Areas in the Federal Capital Territory.
“This, of course, would be in addition to Projects already identified by several Federal Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals in different localities across FCT. It is heartwarming to note that the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari has approved this special intervention programmes and fiscal stimulus measures to help cushion the negative impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Nigerians.”
Speaking at the occasion, the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Ogbodo, commended the President for his determination to provide succour to Nigerians with the introduction of the special programme aimed at engaging 774,000 unemployed Nigerians.
According to him, “Obviously, Mr. President has, by the Special Public Works programme, shown his concern for the plight of ordinary Nigerians amidst the Coronavirus scourge ravaging the entire world.
“Let me also thank the Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, for the opportunity given us to serve in the FCT selection committee for this very important programme. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the primary responsibility of this committee is to put together the list of the six thousand prospective beneficiaries of the Special Public Works programme in the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. We will ensure that the guideline provided by the minister of labour for state for the selection process is strictly adhered to without any deviation.
“Fellow members, we must work hard together to ensure that we don’t fail. We must also ensure that the selection process is not frustrated by any individual. The programme is meant for the masses in respective of tribal, political or religious affiliations. I want to assure residents of FCT that we shall not betray the trust and confidence reposed in us as we execute this huge task placed before us. We will carry out the assignment with utmost diligence and unmitigated commitment to the best of our ability.
“The six thousand persons that will be engaged in the programme in FCT are to earn N20, 000 each month for a period of three months from October to December, 2020. This implies that the Buhari-led Federal Government will be injecting N120million into the nation’s capital to cater for the poor masses every month. In the three months for which the programme will last, the economy of FCT would have been boosted by N360million.”
A member of the committee, the Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) FCT Chapter, Ango Abdullahi, equally applauded the Buhari government for coming up with such a laudable programme to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians, particularly the unemployed youths amidst the COVID-19 plague.
The youth council chief said: “First and foremost, on behalf of the entire FCT youths, we will like to appreciate Mr. President for this project. It’s rewarding. It’s a laudable project. We also want to extend our gratitude to the FCT Minister for deeming it fit to include FCT youth council chapter into the committee selection process. Indeed, it is a youth constituency project because it is all about the youths. We want to assure the FCT Minister and the President that we are going to do our best to give the utmost cooperation and support to ensure the programme goes on accordingly. We are going to ensure strict compliance to the guidelines given from the Ministry of Labour and Employment.”
The youth leader also used the occasion to appeal to the local government chairmen to replicate similar programmes in their various area councils for the benefit of the people.
The Ona of Abaji and Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in the FCT, His Royal Majesty (HRM) Dr. Yunusa Adamu, Chairman FCT branch of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Dr. Samson Jonah and Chairman FCT NURTW, Alhaji Ibrahim Sanda are among other members of the committee.
The chairmen for Kuje and Gwagwalada area councils and a number other traditional rulers were present at the occasion while the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Musa and the Minister of State for FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu were ably represented.
FROM MICHAEL JEGEDE