Reporter: AMECHI ODO

The Federal Government has called for stronger commitment among stakeholders in ensuring efficient implementation of its Extended Special Public Works Programme across the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari made the call in a message to the official launch of the programme in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

Thirteen thousand youths selected from the thirteen Local Government Areas in Ebonyi State are participating in the Federal government’s star programme designed to keep unemployed youths off the street.

President Buhari represented by the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, noted that the Federal Government would monitor the implementation of the programme closely to ensure efficient utilization of resources.

He called on local government authorities to monitor execution of selected projects and tasked participants to see their duties as national assignments.

“It is expected that both the knowledge and skills acquired in the execution of this project will be helpful in making participants self employed later in life,” the Minister stated.

Governor David Umahi, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, noted that the programme was in line with the policy of the state government to empower youths.

“That Ebonyi State has mapped out three billion Naira, one billion Naira for youth for them to get involved in small scale businesses that can enhance the life of the youths,” the SSG remarked.

The Acting Director General, National Directorate of Employment, Malam Abubakar Nuhu, represented by a Director in the Agency, Mr. Mike Mbata, said to ensure effective monitoring, supervisors had been appointed in all electoral wards.

The State Chairman of the Programme, Chief Edward Nkwoegu, warned the participants that the Federal Government would not hesitate to remove and replace any of them who failed to adhere to guidelines.

“Participants must therefore see this task as a serious patriotic national assignments for the lowly and weak people in our society,” Chief Nwkoegu said.

Some of the benefiting youths, including Mr. Ifeanyi Mbam and Miss Chizoba Nwamba, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for the opportunities.

High points of the event were inspection of implementation tools and ceremonial clean up by the Minister.