Stimulating the LG through the 774,000 jobs


If things pan out as envisage there are plans that the local government system will come alive once again if the federal government and its agencies will put every foot right in the planned project to create 774,000 jobs nationwide. The FG it would be recalled presently has kick-started an effort to recruit 1000 workers in each of the 774 local governments of the country. This is a commendable effort given the numerous benefits that is derivable therefrom.
The local government system which was created during the military regime of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration was conceived to bring development to the grassroots and improve the quality of life in the rural areas. It is arguable to what extent this objective has been realized, either partially or fully. We have no doubt the present effort is designed to rejig activities in this direction and give the rural folks a sense of belonging.
The Minster of State, Labour and Employment, Barr Festus Keyamo, speaking in a Radio Nigeria program gave out a heart-warming account of how the exercise is going to be carried out in order to realize the intentions. On paper, it sounds excellent as is usual with most government activities. Our concern is that it should not be allowed to go the way of other government projects because experience has shown that we are always long in the talk and short in action.
During his explanation, Keyamo observed that this is an inter-ministerial effort which includes ministries like Water Resources and Environment, Health, Works, etc to be executed by a 20 man Committee in each state. The activity is to be headed by the Director General of National Directorate of Employment. The Committee members were to be drawn from such groups as the youth organizations, the road transport workers, civil society organizations, market leaders, traditional rulers, religious bodies etc.
He stressed that there is every need that the employees must come from the local governments thus it was not subjected to the online recruitment exercise that attends to other recruitments of this nature. He mentioned that out of the 1000 unskilled workers targeted for the exercise about 200-250 of them will be educated and possess skills to enable them deliver services to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the National Population Commission (NPC).
While stressing that all will be given a sense of belonging he stated that work to be done in each local government will vary according to the needs and peculiarities of the respective environments. He assured that it is going to be fraud free adding that it will help to create a data base of the unskilled workers in the country.
Edge Express wishes to commend the federal government for this initiative and want to identify ourselves with the project. We promise to lend ourselves to supporting the project by making our observations on its implementation through monitoring. The project could not have come at a better time than given the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which dislocated economic activities terribly, deepened and worsened the poverty situation among the rural folks.
The program which is designed for those at the base of the economy (low skilled) will create jobs, reduce crime among the youths by taking them off the street, boost the rural economy, improve lifestyle, generate income for the government through taxes, as well as create values through the services that will be delivered. enable them deliver services to
Edge Express once again appeals to the government to avoid politicising the opportunity and allow a seamless process to realize the program. It is not in doubt that government has always churned out good programs with good intentions but ends up sacrificed at the altar of bureaucracy and politics. We frown at a situation where a project is allowed to be dominated by party loyalists. It should not be used to reward party patronage.


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