Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The federal government yesterday said N46.2 billion has been voted for the payment of the 774,000 people to be engaged under the special public works programme.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, said the government has commenced preparations for the flag-off of the programme immediately the rains are over.
He said the president has asked the ministry to draw up a budget that would cover cost of equipment and other materials that will be needed for the takeoff of the special public works programme.
Keyamo used opportunity to real out the composition of the committees that would help to implement the extended special public works programme across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
While speaking on the cost implications of the programme, the minister said the federal government had already allocated N46.2 billion to pay participants in the public works programme across 774 local government areas in the country.
He said: “774 multiplied by 1,000 and then by N20,000 that is N46.2 billion. So the government has allocated N46.2 billion to be used for the payment of the beneficiaries.”
Keyamo said he had earlier inaugurated a Special Inter-ministerial Committee on the Extended Special Public Works on April 29.
He said the committee sat for several weeks and have proposed a list of projects within their ministries that may require the intervention of the public works programme.
“Over 3,000 projects and 42,000 manpower capacity are being proposed by them. In a steering capacity, the committee has also made certain recommendations to me.
“Having reviewed all the recommendations of this Inter-ministerial Committee, I believe that the selection of the beneficiaries and projects should be a local affair and not to be done from a room in Abuja. Consequently, in line with Section 16(1) of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) Act, I have decided to constitute special committees in each state of the federation for the purpose of deliberating, selecting and recommending to my office the names of the 1,000 persons from each of the local government areas in the states to be engaged for this programme,” Keyamo said.
The minister said committees to be known as the State Selection Committees of the Special Public Works (SPW) would also identify the projects to be executed in those LGAs.
He said each 20-member committee would comprise of a chairman and vice-chairman, who will be indigenes of that state or who are ordinarily residents in that state.