Ohikwo Muhammad – Lokoja
The Extended Special Public Works Programme has been flagged off in Kogi State with a call on participants to be diligent in ensuring the success of the programme.
Minister of State, FCT, Hajia Ramatu Tijjani who flagged off the programme at the Lokoja township stadium on behalf of the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo further enjoined youths in the state to take interest in developing special skills.
She explained that the Special Public Works which was initially to commence in October last year was mainly to focus on unskilled labour in order to the livelihood of participants.
Acting Director General, National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo represented by Mr Bolarinwa Martins from the NDE headquarters charged all the participants to diligently carry out tasks assigned to them.
According to the DG, appropriate working tools had been provided to participants who would be engaged in various community activities ranging from vegetation control, feeder roads maintenance, drainage clearing and irrigation among others.
Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello on his part said the programme would help improve the plight of the less privileged, sustain environmental cleanliness as well as stimulate the state economy through the stipends to be given to participants.
Alhaji Bello further admonished well meaning individuals across the state to go extra mile in empowering more youths around them.
The Governor also promised rewards for outstanding Local Government areas in the course of the programme.
In his remarks, Chairman, Kogi State Extended Special Public Works Programme, Mr Raji Afolabi explained that a thorough selection process was devised to select the participants including vulnerable groups after series of consultation with stakeholders in all the 21 Local Councils.
Mr Bolaji said apart from maintaining public infrastructure, the programme would draw about 1.2 billion into the state economy.
Highlights of the occasion was demonstration of the public works site.