How we’ll select beneficiaries of FG’s 774,000 employment programme

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Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, says up to 10 percent of the federal government’s 774,000 temporary employment slots will be allotted to political office holders across the country.

On April 6, 2020, Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, announced that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the engagement of 774,000 Nigerians on the special public works programme implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

Giving a breakdown of the figure, Ahmed said the programme will cover 1,000 people from the 774 local government areas of the country.

At a press briefing, Keyamo gave details of how the programme would be implemented, as it is scheduled to begin in October 2020.

He said a 20-member committee will be constituted in each state, and will comprise representatives of local communities, traditional institutions, religious organisations, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), civil society organisations, among others.

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“I wish to quickly note at this point that this is a distinct and separate committee from the state advisory committee under section5(2) of the N.D.E Act whose functions are different,” he said.

“Let me state clearly that all members of the state selection committees would not be persons holding any official position in any of the registered political parties. If any of those listed also doubles as an official of any political party, then the state chairman of the selection committee of the SPW shall fill that position with another person representing that interest. We have stated this in order to make this process as apolitical as possible.

“However, we are not unmindful of the fact that political office holders are also representatives of the people. We cannot also totally ignore them in the selection process. We are only trying to guard against some of us hijacking the process solely to service our political interests.

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“As a result and because of the need to be honest before Nigerians, the state selection committees would be instructed to allot to political office holders like our distinguished senators, honourable members, ministers and governors, a number in total not exceeding ten percent of the total beneficiaries in that state.

“This is to ensure that majority of Nigerians who do not belong to any of the political divide actually benefit substantially from this programme.”

Keyamo also added that the president has “approved the use of select banks to register and collate data of the beneficiaries.”

“The banks will open accounts for all beneficiaries and in the process obtain BVN for those without accounts. Consequently, all payments would be made from the CBN directly to the accounts of the beneficiaries,” the minister said.

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