In his administrative efforts to cushion the adverse effects and further spread of the coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the recruitment of 774,000 Nigerians for the Special Public Works programme.
This order was disclosed on the 6th of April 2020, by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, at a press conference held in Abuja.
The directive is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its underlying fiscal shock in oil prices.
1, 000 people are expected to be recruited from each of the 774 local government areas in the country, for an accurate representation.
According to the minister, Sixty billion Naira has been delegated from the COVID-19 crisis intervention fund as allowances and operational cost for the initiative.
In her address to the press, she added that,
“The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning is also evaluating how best to extend the Special Public Works Programme, to provide modest stipends for itinerant workers to undertake Roads Rehabilitation and Social Housing Construction.
” They will also be involved in Urban and Rural Sanitation, Health Extension and other critical services. This intervention will be undertaken in conjunction with the key federal ministries responsible for Agriculture, Environment, Health, and Infrastructure, as well as the states, to financially empower individuals who lose their jobs due to the economic crisis.
“Mr. President has approved the establishment of a Five hundred billion Naira COVID-19 Crisis Intervention Fund. The establishment of the Fund will involve drawing much-needed cash resources from various Special Funds and Accounts, in consultation with and with the approval of the National Assembly.
“The Five hundred billion Naira is proposed to be utilized to upgrade healthcare facilities as earlier identified by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and approved by Mr. President.”
It is expected that, with the mass recruitment set for October 2020, there will be significant improvement in the crisis management measures.
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