Mrs Ann Agomeze, member of the Special Public Works Programme (SPWP) of the Federal Government in Ebonyi, says that selection of beneficiaries of the programme will be based on merit.
Agomeze disclosed this at a selected Onicha Local Government Area’s stakeholders meeting she hosted on Friday in Abakaliki.
Agomeze, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who hails from Onicha LGA said that the meeting was to brief stakeholders from the local government on the programme implementation in Ebonyi.
According to her, the programme can only be successfully implemented in the state if critical stakeholders were informed on the modalities and also carried along at the selection stage.
She urged various stakeholders in Onicha to ensure that only eligible members of the area were mobilised to take part in empowerment programme, adding that selection should not be politically based.
She therefore urged participants in the meeting who would play different roles in mobilising beneficiaries from different communities to rise above partisanship.
“We must do things better than we have ever done before and should bear in mind that the success of the programme in our council lies on everyone of us.
“The success of the programme will determine if it will continue, hence we must collectively work to ensure it succeeds.
“It is our duty to ensure that the 1000 persons expected to participate in the programme in the local government are carefully selected to represent categories of people needed.
“The selection must be inclusive, non political and should capture the lowly and vulnerable members of the area,” Agomeze said.
She noted that the programme was designed to engage both skilled and unskilled labours, including people with low education qualifications, such as secondary school leavers, trained artisans as well as graduates.
She explained that the initiative was part of strategies of the Federal Government to cushion the economic hardship occasioned by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
She lauded the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration for the initiative and described the programme as a welcome development.
“The programme will benefit more, less privileged Nigerians unlike the N-power that only those with higher educational qualifications can apply online.
“This programme which will benefit 774,000 poor Nigerians is to ensure that more people enjoy the dividends of democracy and that they are lifted out of poverty especially in this period of pandemic,” she added.
Dr Christian Imoke, a retired Permanent Secretary in Ebonyi Civil Service who took part in the meeting, applauded the Federal Government for introducing the poverty alleviation economic programme.
“The Federal Government should be well commended for coming up with a programme such as this, especially in this period of worsening economic hardship occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“1000 less privileged persons will be lifted out of poverty by this programme in Onicha while in Ebonyi, 13000 poorest of the poor will be lifted from poverty.
“I urge our people to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the programme by actively participating,” he said.
Another stakeholder, Chief Ogbonnaya Odabe extolled the government for introducing a programme aimed at cushioning the effect of the pandemic and urged the State Selection Committee of SPWP to ensure transparency in the selection process.
“We, as stakeholders will join hands with the committee to ensure that the process of selection of beneficiaries is transparent and devoid of political consideration.
“The programme is aimed at alleviating hunger among the less privileged members of the state and efforts must be made in ensuring that this programme is not hijacked by the privileged class,” Odabe said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme which commences in October will terminate in December 2020.
Beneficiaries will be engaged in public works, including road rehabilitation; urban and rural sanitation, social housing construction, health extension among others. (NAN)
– Jul. 18, 2020 @ 00:20 GMT |