The federal government is taking measures that would drastically reduce youth unemployment in the country, said Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite. The minister made this known yesterday when he launched the Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) program in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
The program is designed to employ 1,000 people in each area of local government across the association.
The initiative is the result of President Muhammadu Buhari’s pilot program for special public works in rural areas, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and implemented by the National Directorate for Employment (NDE) in early 2020, and Adegbite noted that the pilot program was originally implemented in eight states to his Assess the impact on tackling high unemployment and growing insecurity in some parts of the country
“This strategy was indeed adopted to fast-track the impact of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020). He said
“However, with the emergence of the novel coronavirus, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Economic Sustainability Committee(ESC) under the chairmanship of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to craft economic measures to cushion the adverse socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Hence the National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) was developed with the various core ministries steering the implementation of the approved programmes. It was, therefore, decided to extend and implement the ESPW across all the states of the federation,” Adegbite said.
Minister added that the programme was aimed at shielding the most vulnerable from the ravaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic, which include pervasive hunger, poverty, environmental degradation, and joblessness.
According to him, the target is to engage the 774, 000 selected unemployed Nigerians for the programme to execute selected projects across the 774 local government areas in the country.
“Each participating local government has identified its preferred projects and would be responsible for ensuring that they are executed as planned. It is instructive to mention that all the tools and equipment required have been provided hence the Federal Government expects strong commitment from all stakeholders in ensuring efficient implementation,” Adegbite said.
He further said although the ESPW is short-termed – from January to April 2021- “I am convinced that it will provide the necessary economic palliatives to these 774,000 unemployed youths.
“Furthermore, the youth who diligently participates in the projects implementation may deploy the skills acquired to become self-employed. Still, gthe overnment and the organised private sector may in due course provide exit options,” Adegbite stated
He warned that the Federal Government would monitor the implementation of the program to ensure the efficient use of all the resources committed to it.