The Minister of State for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo has said president Muhammadu Buhari plans to extend the Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) programme, also known as the 774,000 jobs to next year and beyond.
The Minister made this known while speaking at a three days training for zonal directors and state coordinators of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) on Tuesday.
He said the meeting was to provide solutions to identified problems as well as fresh ideas to make future implementation of the programme hitch free and sustainable.
According to Keyamo, the road has been rough, but the administration is determined to ensure that the benefits of the programme reach the target groups.
He expressed regret that there are still a few difficult corners to navigate as the government completes the payment process for beneficiaries of the 774,000 jobs who are yet to receive their stipends.
“We still have a few difficult corners to navigate as we complete the payment process for those who are yet to receive their stipends.
“This meeting and training will enable you design the template for the completion report on the programme, x-ray the challenges encountered during the implementation and recommendations for improvements moving forward. This development could not have come at a better time than now when the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is planning to extend the programme next year and beyond.”
The Minister further said the meeting will enable the management of NDE to fashion new ways and approaches for job creation for youths.
In his remarks, the director-general NDE, Mallam Abubakar Fikpo said the training cum meeting was to provide the zonal directors and state coordinators an opportunity to look at the concept and implementation of the Extended Special Public Works (ESPW) programme which is at its terminal point.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you may wish to recall that part of the exit strategy for ESPW participants has been implemented through the Basic Business Training (BBT) initiative recently conducted for the participants, I expect us to equally identify other exit strategies that will further make the gains of the programme more sustainable”