By David Adeoye
The Oyo State Government has commended the Federal Government initiative for the establishment of the Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) programme, aiming at addressing the unemployment issues in the country.
The Deputy Governor, Alhaji Rauf Olaniyan, gave the commendation at the state inauguration of the programme in Akinyele Local Government Secretariat, Moniya in Ibadan on Tuesday.
Olaniyan declared that the ESPW programme was a direct attack on unemployment, noting that the programme would go a long way in bringing succor to the living standard of the 1000 beneficiaries from Oyo State.
He stated that the programme would complement efforts of the state government in addressing the problem of unemployment.
He disclosed that the state government would soon give letters of appointment to 5,000 teachers and over 2,000 non teaching staff as permanent workers in the service of the state.
He added that new medical personnel would soon be offered letters of appointment too, apart from some lawyers that have been recruited as state counsel.
“All these are aiming to reduce the unemployment rate.
“So, you will agree with me that this programme is actually complementing the efforts of the state government in bringing the unemployment in the state to minimum level,” he said.
The deputy governor further commended members of the state committee for the smooth starting of the programme.
He, however, stressed the need to fully carry the state government along in the selection process of the committee members in the next phase of the programme.
He implored the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to use performance indicator for the participants to be able to assess the progress of the programme.
He also urged the beneficiaries to see the programme as an opportunity to contribute their quota to the nation’s building and also improve their living standard.
Speaking, Mr Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State, Ministry of Labour and Employment, said that ESPW was aimed at shielding the most vulnerable from the ravaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, these include but not limited to, pervasive hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and joblessness.
Keyamo, represented by Mr Olufemi Ajao, said the programme engaged 774,000 selected unemployed Nigerians across the 774 local government areas in the country.
He added that the programme which would last for three months would provide the necessary economic palliatives to the 774,000 unemployed youths.
He further said that the Federal Government would closely monitor the implementation of the programme to ascertain the efficient utilisation of every resource, human/materials, committed to the programme.
On his part, the Director-General of NDE, Mallam Nuhu Fikpo, urged every beneficiary of the programme to reciprocate the gesture of the President Mohammadu Buhari-led government.
Fikpo represented by the NDE coordinator in Oyo state, Mrs Olayinka Olayemi, said that they could do this by diligently executing their assigned tasks throughout the duration of the programme.
The director-general also requested Nigerians living within all the benefiting communities to cooperate with the participants and officials as they go about their duties. (NAN)