President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the engagement of 774, 000 Nigerians on Special Public Works programme in the country to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s finance minister said on Monday.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this at a media briefing on fiscal stimulus measures in response to COVID-19 pandemic and oil prices fiscal shock in Abuja, said 1, 000 people were expected to be recruited from each of the 774 local government areas of the country.
She said the Federal Government has earmarked N60 billion as allowances and operational cost from the COVID-19 crisis intervention fund for the initiative.
The minister disclosed that President Buhari had previously approved a pilot special public works programme in eight states to be implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
She added that Buhari had now approved that this programme be extended to all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory from October to December 2020 and the selected time-frame was to ensure that it was implemented after the planting season.
Ahmed said: “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.
“This is also applicable for 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.”