ADDRESS BY MR. AFOLABI JOSEPH-RAJI – CHAIRMAN, KOGI STATE SELECTION COMMITTEE AT THE OFFICIAL FLAG-OFF OF THE FGN SPECIAL PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM (774,000 JOBS) IN KOGI STATE AT THE LOKOJA OLD TOWNSHIP STADIUM ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2021.

ADDRESS BY MR. AFOLABI JOSEPH-RAJI – CHAIRMAN, KOGI STATE SELECTION COMMITTEE AT THE OFFICIAL FLAG-OFF OF THE FGN SPECIAL PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAM (774,000 JOBS) IN KOGI STATE AT THE LOKOJA OLD TOWNSHIP STADIUM ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2021.

 
Protocols.

The Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Members of Kogi State Selection Committee of the Federal Government of Nigeria Special Public Works (FGN-SPW) Program express our immeasurable gratitude to the Almighty God for His immense grace and mercies upon our lives to witness this day and auspicious occassion.

We express our profound gratitude to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the privilege and honour to spearhead this patriotic national assignment in Kogi State.

We are equally very grateful to His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello; our Amiable Executive Governor of Kogi State for nominating us for appointment by the Federal
Government to serve on this noble committee and for providing the conducive environment and necessary support to succeed in our assigned tasks.

We also appreciate the Honorable Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, for his leadership, passion and visible commitment to ensure the successful implementation of this laudable national program as planned.

As we may recall, the 20-member multi-sectorial States Selection Committees were inaugurated nationwide by the Honorable Minister of State for Labour and
Employment – Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN, in June 2020 and charged with the responsibilities to carefully identify and select through a fair and transparent process 1,000 unemployed women and youths evenly spread across all Wards in every Local Government Area to participate in this unique Special Public Works Program.

The FGN Special Public Works Program aims at creating 1,000 jobs in each of the 774 Local Government Areas of the country through labour intensive techniques
which will focus on maintenance and light rehabilitation of public infrastructure across the nation over a period of three (3) months. It is a Federal Intervention Program to create 774,000 Jobs across the Nation to help address the monster of youth unemployment and also serve as a post COVID-19 intervention to cushion the negative effects of the global pandemic at the grassroots.

To achieve the noble objectives of the Committee, we travelled extensively within the State to interface with the leadership of Local Government Areas, Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Select Trade Union Leaders, Youth Leaders, Market Women Leaders, Civil Societies Groups and People Living With Disabilities.

The Committee also travelled outside the state to meet with elected Political Leaders including our Distinguished Senators and Members of the House of
Representatives, as well as the Honorable Minister of State for FCT – Dr. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu.

During the month of August 2020, as the Committee’s assignment progressed, we received the unfortunate news of the passage of our revered traditional father and a member of the Committee; The Attah of Igala Kingdom and the former President of the State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Majesty, Dr. Michael Ameh
Oboni II. May the Soul of The Attah live on with His Ancestors. Amen.

At this juncture, it is pertinent to highlight the socio-economic impact of the FGN Special Public Works Program in Kogi State. Our State which has twenty one (21) Local Government Areas is presenting 21,000 participants who will each receive a monthly stipend of Twenty Thousand Naira (N20,000) over a period of three (3) months. This will translate to additional disposable wage income of N420million per month and a huge sum of N1.26billion over the three months period of the program into Kogi State’s economy particularly for vulnerable people at the grassroots.

Furthermore, the 21,000 participants from the State will be engaged in maintaining and improving public infrastructure and the physical environment across the State through the implementation of selected public works projects in all the Wards and Local Government Areas in Kogi State.

I want to appreciate the immense support of the leadership of the 21 LGAs in the State so far on this project.

I also wish to further call on our newly elected Executive Chairmen to wholly embrace this program by displaying an uncommon ownership spirit for the implementation of the program within their respective LGAs.

I wish to inform the Local Government Executive Chairmen that the Committee has indeed sought the approval of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, to recognize and reward Local Government Areas that are outstanding in the effective
implementation of the Public Works Program in their domains.

As the most-centrally located and most-connected state in Nigeria, and the major travel corridor from the Southern region to Abuja and the Northern parts of the country; and given our proximity to the Federal Capital Territory, the effective implementation of the Special Public Works Program in Kogi State is poised to be a
major inspirational example to the Nation.

To our selected Participants, I urge you all to see the opportunity to participate in this program as a call to duty and national assignment, while you earn some modest
income. The total sum of Sixty Thousand Naira (N60,000) which you will earn over the next three months is to assist you meet personal and family financial responsibilities. Some of you may decide to invest the income to support your existing business or start a new small business.

I know that our women will do well in this regard. Most importantly, I want you to seize this opportunity to make lasting
positive impact in your various communities.

As I conclude, I wish to appreciate all Honorable Members of the Kogi State Selection Committee of the FGN Special Public Works for your immense support and commitment to the success of this program. Its been a rare priviledge and honour to serve with you.

I also wish to once again appreciate The Executive Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for his continued support towards the successful implementation of the Special Public Works Program in Kogi State.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Long live Kogi State.
Thank you very much.

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