FG to pay N20k youth unemployed monthly to clear drainage and sweeping markets

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The Federal Government has put together a scheme to prevent the high unemployment rate in the country, which will enable unemployed young people to earn N20,000 per month in rural areas, The PUNCH reports.

Youth will be active in clearing drainage, swelling markets, maintaining highways, regulating traffic and purifying public services such as health centers and schools.

Labor and Employment Minister Festus Keyamo (SAN) said so at Thursday’s news conference.

The scheme targeted 1,000 youth from all over the country, Keyamo said, each of the 774 local governments.

The Minister said that the Initiative is one of the biggest social investment programs initiated by any government in Nigeria ‘s history in a short period of time.

The PUNCH notes that the scheme known as the Rural Special Public Works Project, remains in the National Employment Directorate and is scheduled to begin in October. The scheme is being introduced.

The Minister ‘s discourse partially read, “Thanks to a short term pledge of 1,000 unemployed people per local governmental area over a span of 3 months, the pilot program previously approved by Mr. President was intended to alleviate lack of job prospects in rural areas.

“It is a dry season/off-season transient job programme and was originally designed for the rehabilitation/maintenance of public and social infrastructure. Participants were to be paid an allowance of N20,000 monthly and were to be recruited largely from the pool of unskilled persons resident in those rural areas.

“This pilot scheme was approved to be implemented in five local government areas in eight states namely: Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina and Kwara. Beneficiaries are engaged in: drainage digging and clearance, irrigation canals clearance, rural feeder road maintenance, maintenance of the Great Green Wall nurseries and orchards in Borno, Jigawa and Katsina states; traffic control, street cleaning, cleaning of public infrastructure like health centres, schools and the likes. A total of 40,000 direct transient jobs were expected to be created in the eight pilot states.”

Keyamo said the Special Public Works in the Rural Areas is an employment- intensive technique acquired and adapted by the National Directorate of Employment from one of the capacity-building collaborations with the International Labour Organisation in the late 1980s to the middle of the 1990’s.

The minister said for the purpose of transparency and accountability in the process, 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 Bank Verification Numbers for those without accounts.

“All payments would be made from the Central Bank of Nigeria directly to the accounts of the beneficiaries,” he added.