The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, says the Federal Executive Council has approved that the Special Public Works Scheme be implemented annually.

He said this in Abuja yesterday at the briefing session coordinated by the Presidential Media Team.

The government had, at the unveiling of the scheme in January, said artisans would be employed to do public works for three months and get paid N20,000 monthly.

Keyamo said the scheme “will not go down the drain as there is the FEC approval already for the Special Public Works programme to be an annual event. It’s implementation and the money that we’ll look for now in that regard.

“It’s the first time we’re doing this type of programme. Like I said so we needed to be very innovative. Maybe that’s why perhaps there were some delays. And because we wanted to get it right at the end of the day.

“The president is very serious about the issue of lifting 100 million people out of poverty in the next 10 years. He’s really serious about it.”

The minister said as of June 24, 2021, N24,000, 817,800.00 had been paid to 413,630 beneficiaries of the scheme.

Daily Trust had, last Thursday, exclusively reported that thousands of the participants were yet to be paid their stipend.

Keyamo said the initial delays that greeted the programme had to do with discrepancies noticed during the registration phase, especially with Bank Verification Numbers.

He said with the beneficiaries drawn from rural communities and mostly itinerant workers, the scheme has achieved 60 percent success rate.

Keyamo said he uncovered some fraudulent Nigerians who opened multiple bank accounts under a single BVN despite attempts to ensure due diligence in the implementation of the programme.

According to him, efforts to separate genuine applicants from those trying to fleece the scheme of its resources accounted for initial delays recorded in the kickoff of the programme.

 

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