By John Ikani
The Nigerian Government on Tuesday said the Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) programme, which provides jobs for 774,000 Nigerians will be extended beyond 2021.
Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, disclosed this in Nasarawa State, at the opening of a three-day training/meeting of Zonal Directors and State Coordinators of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
The minister said the Federal Government is planning to extend the ESPW programme beyond 2022, as part of efforts to address the huge unemployment crisis in the country.
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Directorate to develop a blueprint for the second phase of the programme.
“The Federal Government has expressed its desire to extend the programme. Therefore, we need to go back to Mr. President with a clear template on what we did and what we need to do to improve,” he said.
He, however, did not give a definite timeline for the commencement of the second phase or format.
He said: “We really do not know when the next programme will commence and do not also know the format it will take. This meeting will formulate all of that and then submit our report to Mr. President who will decide the next line of action.
“But what is sure is that the programme will continue. This workshop is to take stock of the challenges that we confronted in the implementation process of the 774,000 SPW and fine-tune the processes going forward.”
The ESPW is an initiative of the Federal Government of Nigeria in collaboration with the NDE.
It employs 1,000 Nigerians from each of the 774 local government areas of the nation as part of efforts geared towards combating poverty.
The program is for unskilled workers employed for three months with a net pay of N20,000 per month.
Jobs provided by the program include:
• Drainage digging and clearance
• Irrigation canals clearance
• Rural feeder road maintenance
• Traffic control
• Street cleaning
• Cleaning of public infrastructure like Health Centres, School