President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the employment of 774,000 Nigerians on a special public works programme in the country.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed who disclosed this on Monday during a press conference in Abuja, said the employments is in a bid to cushion the effect of coronavirus pandemic in the country.
According to the minister, 1000 people would be recruited from each of the 774 local government areas in the country.
Ahmed also explained that N60 billion had been earmarked from the coronavirus crisis intervention fund as allowances and operational costs for the initiative.
“With regards to the Special Public Works Program, Mr. President had previously approved a Pilot Special Public Works Programme in eight States to be implemented by the National Directorate of Employment from February 2020 to April 2020.
“Mr. President has now approved that this Programme be extended to all 36 States and the FCT from October 2020 to December 2020. The selected timeframe is to ensure that the Programme is implemented after the planting season is over, and it will result in the employment of about 774,000 Nigerians (that is, 1,000 people per Local Government).
“The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is also evaluating how best to extend the Special Public Works Programme, to provide modest stipends for itinerant workers to undertake Roads Rehabilitation and Social Housing Construction.
“And also Urban and Rural Sanitation, Health Extension and other critical services. This intervention will be undertaken in conjunction with the key federal ministries responsible for Agriculture, Environment, Health and Infrastructure, as well as the states, to financially empower individuals who lose their jobs due to the economic crisis.
“Mr. President has approved the establishment of N500 billion COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund. The establishment of the Fund will involve drawing much-needed cash resources from various Special Funds and Accounts, in consultation with and with the approval of the National Assembly.
“The N500 billion is proposed to be utilised to upgrade healthcare facilities as earlier identified by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and approved by Mr. President.
“This will help to finance the Federal Government’s Interventions to support states in improving healthcare facilities, finance the creation of a Special Public Works programme and Fund any additional interventions that may be approved by Mr. President,” she said.