Orphans, Street children and People living with disabilities are among those who stand to benefit from the Special Public Works (SPW) Programme that has been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

The SPW programme seeks to identify and exploit employment opportunities that abound in the public works sector by organizing the skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled persons that are unemployed to carry out utility, environmental, infrastructural development and sanitation works.

The Chairperson of the Selection Committee for the SPW programme in Cross River State, Barr. Maria Ukpanyang who disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, 22nd July, 2020, said “the project is for those within the ages of 18 and 50.”

Barr. Ukpanyang who also explained that no certificates were needed in the process of selection, added that the legislators are given slots as part of the selection process.

She said “… from the national, the legislators are given slots; the governor has 40 slots  in each of the local government areas, senators have 30 slots, ministers have 30, house of representatives members have 25, the members of the state house of assembly have 20 slots each.”

Barr. Ukpanyang said “religious groups, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), market women, had representation, with two (2) youths – male and female – from each senatorial district in the state to ensure that selection reaches the grass-root and the vulnerable ones in the society” while noting that the work involves the clearing of roadsides, desilting of drains, evacuation of debris, and construction.

The Committee Chairperson said there was no form of online registration, adding that the programme could alleviate the plights of those who were selected as long as they have the passion to work.

Barr. Ukpanyang also advised the youths to be diligent in order to encourage the federal government to sustain the programme, which was billed to last for 3 months in its first phase.

The Special Works Department is one of the four (4) core programmes of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE.

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