By Amuche Agbo, Abakaliki
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment Mr. Festus Kayamo has said, that over thirteen thousand persons have so far benefited from the ongoing extended Special Public Work programme of the Federal Government saying that about seven hundred and seventy four thousand were captured for the exercise across the Country.
The Minister disclosed this while flagging off a two days intensive training and extension plan of the beneficiaries for Ebonyi North Zone at Nkaliki, headquarters of Abakaliki Local Government Area.
In his keynote address, the Minister represented at the event by the Chairman of Ebonyi State selection committee, Architect Edward Nkwegu, said the training became imperative so as to equip the beneficiaries skillfully, and advised them to take it serious to attain its set objective.
He said that a total of 774 thousand persons were recruited for the programme across the Country, saying over 13,000 indigenes were selected in Ebonyi State which was one thousand (1,000) persons per Local Government Council to gain financial grant of 20,000 for a period of three months, and announced that Federal Government has approved it to be an annual project.
However, he stated that the training was categorize into two which was basic business training (BBT) for non graduates and start your own business (SYOB) for graduates.
He commended President Mohammadu Buhari for the success implementation of the programme, describing it as one of the best empowerment he had embarked on and called on the beneficiaries to avail themselves for the training for their own interest.
On his part, the Director General of National Directorate of Employment represented by the Ebonyi State programme Coordinator Mr. Marcel Igboanude noted that the training was geared towards stimulating and imparting entrepreneurial skills among the participants for gainful future life, foster the creation of new businesses, promote financial inclusion to manage their enterprises effectively and efficiently base on the best practices.
The DG hinted that the programme was a clear testimony of the commitment of the Federal Government to create employment for the teeming population of the youths of the Nation while calling on the participants to use the opportunity careful to exit joblessness and become self reliant.
He lauded the dynamism of and commitment of the chairman of Ebonyi State selection committee Arc. Edward Nkwegu and all the members of his committee for the superlative achievement of the programme in the State.
However, the chairman of Abakaliki Local Government Hon. Emmanuel Nwangele ably represented by the leader of Abakaliki legislative council Hon. Ruben Ede stated that APC government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has initiated a good number of welfare programmes for the entire Nigeria citizens, adding that ESPW just like other empowerment programmes of Mr. President has helped in solving problem of poverty and unemployment in the country.
He charged the participants to be serious with the workshop and use the money judiciously so as to be self reliant.
The council boss seized the opportunity and extol Ebonyi State Governor Engr. David Umahi for his wisdom to take Ebonyi State to the national politics, saying that the move has attracted people of the State a lot of empowerment opportunities and called all and sundry to remain supportive to APC Government to reap more dividends of democracy.
He further thanked the organizer Arc. Edward Nkwegu (EDON) and team for their high level of transparency, honesty and remembering the less privileged ones in the society.
Meanwhile, the coordinator of the programme in Abakaliki LGA Hon. Godwin Jioke who was visibly happy appreciated Arc. Edward Nkwegu for attracting the programme in the State, describing him as a man of impeccable character, God fearing and transparent whom his exemplary life is second to none.
He attributed the programme as the handwork of APC Government, while expressing support to the party to move the Country forward
On behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr. Abah Ifeanyi expressed his joy over the gesture, attributed it to the leadership ingenuity of PMB.
He lauded Labour Minister, DG NDE and Arch. Edward Nkwegu and others who have contributed immensely for the success of the exercise and prayed God to replenish them abundantly.