Reps stop proposed 774,000 jobs, give fresh conditions - OPID News

Our people in Diaspora News



Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Reps stop proposed 774,000 jobs, give fresh conditions

 Reps stop proposed 774,000 jobs, give fresh conditions

The House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to immediately halt the proposed take-off of the 774,000 jobs in the Special Works Programme on January 5, 2021.

In a unanimous resolution, the lawmakers also asked the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning not to release the funds for the programme until some issues that affect its integrity are sorted out.

Adopting a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Olajide Olatubonsun (APC, Oyo), the House condemned the recent sack of the Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mohammed Ladan Argungu.

It said such action was ill-advised and that the DG should be reinstated immediately.

Moving the motion, Olatubonsun informed his colleagues that the programme was approved by President Muhamamdu Buhari to cover all local government areas across the country.

This followed the success of the pilot programme in five local government areas in eight states of Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina and Kwara.

Olatubosun noted that apart from the success of the pilot scheme, there was need to mitigate the negative socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerians by providing social safety net to those at the lowest level of the economy.

The lawmaker said the President’s directive approved NDE to employ 774,000 jobless persons under an expanded Special Public Works Programme, with 1,000 persons expected to come from each local government area for three months.

He said the programme, initially scheduled to begin on October 1, 2020, was an employment intensive technique acquired and adapted by the NDE from one of the capacity-building collaborations with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in the late 1980s to the middle of the 1990s.

The project, the lawmaker said, was tagged ILO/NDE Labour Based/Light Equipment Methods of Construction, Rehabilitation and Maintenance of Public Infrastructure.

Olatubonsun added: “These types of programmes were used during the Great Depression by industrialised nations to immediately respond to grinding poverty at the lowest level of society.

“It was also effectively used during colonial Africa to quickly respond to situations, such as drought and famine, by mobillsing the unskilled populace to engage in labour intensive infrastructural projects as a means of immediately alleviating their economic situation.

“The concept was later adopted and developed by most Asian countries, like India, China and Bangladesh, to lift their countries out of the league of poor nations. This programme was one of the main reasons India quickly dropped in the poverty index.”

He explained that in line with the resolve of parliament to lifting Nigerians out of poverty, the National Assembly appropriated N52 billion in the 2020 fiscal year for the Special Public Works Programme out of which each beneficiary will be paid N20,000 per month for three months.

He told The Nation after the House sitting that the state selection committees had also decided to impose a list of banks on the beneficiaries, irrespective of whether the bank existed in their locality or not.

He said: “For example, those selected from my area have all been asked to choose FCMB, which does not exist there.

“All we are saying is that due process has to be followed. We are not saying they should allocate slots to the National Assembly as long as those benefiting are Nigerians.

“We have been talking about building institutional capacity in this country. How can we build such capacity when you hijack the function of these people? We believe that removing the Director General of NDE was not in the best interest of Nigerians. That is why we are telling the President that, as father to all, he should hear from all sides before taking any decision.”

No comments:

Post a Comment