The Federal Government’s Special Public Works Programme in Ebonyi says it will empower 13,000 indigent persons chosen from the 13 Local Government Areas (LGAs), of the state.
Chief Edward Nkwegu, the Committee’s Chairman, disclosed this while addressing newsmen on Friday in Abakaliki after he led members of the committee to distribute the volunteers recruitment forms to selected special centres in the state.
Nkwegu said that the indigent persons chosen from the 13 LGAs would serve in different sectors of public works.
The special centres visited by the team include: Mile Four Leprosy Centre, Abakaliki; St Vincent De Paul Old People and Destitute Home, Abakaliki; Itinerant workers cluster, opposite St Theresa Catholic Church, Abakaliki among others.
“This programme was introduced by the Federal Government to lift active poor Nigerians from poverty.
“The objective of this exercise is to recruit 13,000 itinerant and poor workers from the rural heartlands across the 13 councils in Ebonyi; we are still at the recruitment stage of the exercise,” Nkwegu said.
He explained that the committee embarked on the action to ensure that the programme was extended to the active poor members of the society who were targeted by the initiative.
He dismissed insinuations that the programme was politically motivated, saying that the works programme aimed at providing jobs to itinerant, poor and vulnerable persons across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
“The programme has nothing to do with political inclination; I run a Non-Governmental Organisation that is committed to empowering the poor.
“Since 2005, Regina Pacis Foundation has been empowering the poor and needy by providing them with skills acquisition. It is by special coincidence that FG appointed me to head this programme in Ebonyi.
“We are about rounding off the selection process so that we can forward list of recruited volunteers; we are doing this to ensure that no segment of our population is left out,” Nkwegu explained.
The chairman said that the committee was partnering Gov. Dave Umahi, Senators and members of House of Representatives in the selection of the beneficiaries in all the 13 LGAs of Ebonyi.
Nkwegu expressed confidence that the initiative, introduced to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic-induced economic hardship would be a huge success in the state.