The Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has charged the beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s extended Special Public Works programme to utilize the opportunities in advancing their lives.
Ikpeazu represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Chris Ezem gave the charge at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia during the official flag-off of the programme, pointing out that his administration was always interested in the welfare Abians, which prompted the Aba I
He lauded the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for extending the programme to all the states across the federation, of which Abia got 17,000 slots.
Flagging off the programme, Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, said the programme is an outcome of the pilot special public works programme in the rural areas approved by the president.
His words, “The Extended Special Public Works Programme is also aimed at shielding the most vulnerable from the ravaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic which include, but are not limited to, pervasive hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and joblessness.
“Our target is to immediately engage the 774,000 selected unemployed Nigerians for the programme to execute carefully selected projects across the 774 local government areas in the country.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Acting Director-General of National Directorate of Employment, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo represented by the Abia State Coordinator, Arch. Lady Chijioke Uzoatuegwu, charged all the participants to reciprocate the gesture of President Buhari led government by diligently executing their assigned tasks throughout the duration of the programme.
He said the flag-off marks the actualisation of the single most far-reaching grassroots-based employment creation initiative in the history of the country.
He said appropriate working tools, as well as protective wears, have been provided for all the participants in their daily work schedule.
“All participants have been duly documented and their details captured by designated banks to guarantee a fraud-free, transparent and fair service delivery. And to ensure effective monitoring of the programme, supervisors have been appointed in all the electoral wards of the country to conduct supervisory roles”, he stated.
In an interview, the Chairman, Ibeku Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Iheanyichukwu Ezeigbo and the President General, Ahuwa-Oboro autonomous community, Ikwuano L.G.A, of Abia State, Engr. James Nnadozie Uchegbuo lauded President Buhari, Governor Ikpeazu and others for their roles towards the programme and enjoined the beneficiaries to put to good use whatever materials given to them judiciously.
Meanwhile, Umuahia North L.G.A., of Abia State has assured that all beneficiaries from the local government would receive adequate encouragement from the council.
This promise was made by the Secretary to the local government, Mrs. Serra Peace in her office on Tuesday while speaking with News Echo.