Kwara State Selection Committee of the Federal Government’s Special Public Works (SPW) Programme has stated that the programme would be investing N1 Billion into the rural economy in the state for the next three month.

The chairman of the state committee, Mr Olusegun Oyewo, on Saturday, disclosed this at the official launch of the programme in Ilorin, Kwara state capital.

Oyewo, who spoke through Mr Ahmed Yusuf, Vice Chairman of the committee, said that the trickle-down effect of this investment was expected to be positive for the local economy.

“It is our prayer that social intervention programmes like this are created and implemented more often by the Federal Government.

“We had various challenges along the way, but together we always found a way to perform the tasks assigned to us.

“We remember that this role is a call to serve, and serve we must”, the chairman said, at the launch that attracted various dignitaries from traditional, religious and government institutions, as well as  some of the selected participants.

The chairman explained that the 16,000 beneficiaries were selected from the 16 local government areas in the state, made up of 46 per cent female participants as against the initial projected  30 per cent.

He explained that the high percentage of women indicated the value attached to the roles they played as mothers and sisters in homes and society, adding that non-graduates would constitute 63 per cent of the participants, while five per cent was allotted to Persons with Disability.

In his keynote address, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, Minister for Information and Culture said that the programme, being handled by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), was aimed at supporting the most vulnerable against the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Represented by Mrs Ibiyemi Abegunde, the minister identified such effects as including pervasive hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and joblessness, among others.

“The need to quickly address the above mentioned, informed the decision to implement the SPW. As I address you today, our target is to immediately engage the 16,000 selected Nigerians for the programme, to execute carefully selected projects, across the 16 local government areas in the state.

“Each participating local government identified its preferred projects and will be responsible for ensuring that they are executed well”, the minister said.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Mallam Abubakar Fikpo, the Acting Director-General of the NDE, urged the benefitting communities to cooperate with the participants and officials in the quest to achieve the objectives of the programme.

Fikpo, who was represented by Mrs Roseline Olaomi, also called on the state government and the participants to reciprocate the gesture of the Federal Government by diligently executing their assigned tasks for the duration of the programme. (NAN)

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