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  The Federal Government has announced that its Special Public Works program, which will employ 774,000 Nigerians across the country, takes off today, Tuesday, January 5 2021. This was disclosed on Monday in a tweet by Bashir Ahmad, Personal Assistant to the President on New Media.
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Referring to a statement by Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Bashir said that the National Directorate of Employment’s centres in various states were “in top gear” for the program’s take-off ceremonies. As part of the scheme, 1,000 unemployed itinerant Nigerians will be given jobs in each of the 774 local government areas of the country. They will be engaged in the cleaning and maintenance of drainages, irrigation, rural feeder roads, nursery and orchards, and public infrastructure, as well as traffic control. Persons employed under the Special Public Works program will fill these roles for three months and will be paid ₦20,000 per month. Funding for the scheme—totalling about ₦52 billion –was captured in the Federal Government’s budget for the year 2020. The program is based on a model from a capacity-building collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) dating back to between the late 1980s and mid-1990s.
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The pilot scheme had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2019. Deliberations around the design and implementation of the program continued for much of the following year. Recruitment was facilitated by State Selection Committees set up in each state of the federation. Specific banks in each local government were mandated to capture the details of recruited persons. The program was earlier scheduled to commence in October 2020. Implementation was later set for January, following a couple of postponements. The Special Public Works program is part of the Federal Government’s Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP), a ₦2.3 trillion stimulus package designed to drive economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Featured Image Source: Premium Times NG
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This article was first published on 5th January 2021


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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