By G9ija

The Minister of State for Agriculture, Mustapha Shehuri, has said that 27,000 youths are engaged in the Special Public Works (SPW) programme of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in Borno State.

Also, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has officially kicked off the programme with 20,000 beneficiaries.

While the scheme is expected to gulp N1.62 billion in three months, that of Bauchi will cost N1.2 billion in the same period.

While kicking off the programme yesterday in Maiduguri, Shehuri said: “Specifically in this SPW job creation programme, 27,000 unemployed youths and women from all the councils in Borno are selected to benefit directly

“Today marks the actualisation of the most grassroots-based employment initiative in the history of the country.”

According to him, there are other Federal Government interventions going on in the agriculture, health, education and socio-economic sectors.

Director-General of NDE, Abubakar Fikpo, said: “We’re determined to meet the targets in job creation implementation in Borno State,” adding that the programme had been designed to improve lives of 774,000 unemployed youths in three months.

He noted that appropriate working tools, including protective gears, had also been provided for the beneficiaries, urging them to cooperate with NDE to fully implement the programme.

WHILE kicking of the programme in Bauchi yesterday, Governor Mohammed said that designated banks had captured beneficiaries’ details to prevent fraud.

The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Modibbo Ahmed, said: “I believe it will go a long way in improving the economic strength of our youths in the country.”

Chairman of the selection committee in the state, Sanusi Kunde, urged the beneficiaries to spend the stipends judiciously.

“We pulling in N1.2 billion into our state in three months. We can imagine the quantum of resources and economic impact this will have on our families. This will pave way for some SMEs, no matter how small – even if it is recharge card business – after the programme. We are hoping that this programme could be extended to about six months,” he said.