Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has enjoined beneficiaries of the 774,000 Federal Government extended Special Public Works programme in the state to utilize the opportunity to improve their livelihood.
In his speech, during inauguration in Umuahia, Ikpeazu represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Chris Ezem said his administration was always mindful of the welfare of its residents which prompted the Aba Industrial cluster. He lauded the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration for extending the programme to all the states across the federation of which Abia benefitted 17 thousand slots.
Flagging off the programme, Minister of State Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo and Board chairman and supervising minister of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) represented by Mr. Kelechi Ekugo, the Chief of Staff to the Minister of State Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Uche Ogah, said the programme was the outcome of the pilot special public works programme in the rural area approved by Mr. President and implemented by the NDE in the early part of the year 2020. He said: “The Extended Special Public Works Programme is also aimed at shielding the most vulnerable from the ravaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic which include, but are not limited to, pervasive hunger, poverty environmental degradation and joblessness.
“The need to quickly address the above mentioned informed the decision to implement the ESPW. Our target is to immediately engage the 774,000 selected unemployed Nigerians for the programme to execute carefully selected projects across the 774 local government areas in the country.”