Sometime in October, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, approved a Pilot Special Public Works Programme in the Rural Areas. The programme was domiciled in the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) for implementation.
The Special Public Works in the Rural Areas is an employment- intensive technique acquired and adapted by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) from one of the capacity-building collaborations with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in the late 1980’s to the middle of the 1990’s. The Project was tagged ILO/NDE Labour Based/ Light Equipment Methods of Construction, Rehabilitation and maintenance of Public Infrastructure.
The ILO itself derived this idea of Special Public Works programme from several historical templates. According to the Development and Technical Labour Department of the ILO, these types of programmes were used during the Great Depression by industrialised nations to immediately respond to grinding poverty at the lowest level of society that normally bore the brunt of such economic upheavals. It was also effectively used during colonial Africa to quickly respond to situations such as drought and famine by mobilising the unskilled populace to engage in other labour intensive infrastructural projects as a means of immediately alleviating their situation. The concept was later adopted and developed by most Asian countries like India, China and Bangladesh to lift their countries out of the league of poor nations. This programme was one of the main reasons India quickly dropped in the poverty index and Nigeria overtook India at a point.
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Consequently and arising from the need and desire of the Federal Government to create massive jobs at the lowest rung of the economy as well as to maintain critical public and social infrastructure at the rural base of the economy, Mr. President has approved that we also adopt and integrate this type of programme into the Nigerian economy.
The pilot programme earlier approved by Mr. President was designed to mitigate lack of job opportunities in the rural areas through a short-term engagement of One thousand (1,000) unemployed persons per Local Government Area for a period of three (3) months. It is a dry season/off season transient job programme and was originally designed for the rehabilitation/maintenance of public and social infrastructure. Participants were to be paid an allowance of N20,000 monthly and were to be recruited largely from the pool of unskilled persons ordinarily resident in those rural areas.
This pilot scheme was approved to be implemented in five local government areas in eight states namely: Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina and Kwara.
Beneficiaries are engaged in:
• Drainage digging and clearance
• Irrigation canals clearance
• Rural feeder road maintenance
• Maintenance of the Great Green Wall nurseries and orchards in Borno, Jigawa, Katsina and other
• Traffic control
• Street cleaning
• Cleaning of public infrastructure like Health Centres, Schools and the likes.
A total of 40,000 direct transient jobs were expected to be created in the eight pilot states.
On Monday 6th of April, 2020, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning in a Press conference, announced the approval of Mr President for the extension of this programme to all 36 states and the FCT from October- December 2020 as a means of mitigating the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.
The Programme is also expected to provide modest stipends for itinerant workers to undertake roads rehabilitation and social housing construction, urban and rural sanitation, health extension and other critical services. Hence the directive of Mr President for the NDE to collaborate with other Ministries with rural components in their mandates.
A Special Inter-ministerial Committee on the Extended Special Public Works was inaugurated by the Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo SAN, on Wednesday, 29th April, 2020.
The Committee sat for some weeks and in their collaborative capacity proposed a list of projects within their Ministries that may require the intervention of the Public Works Programme. Over 3,000 projects and 42,000 Manpower are being proposed by them. In a Steering capacity, the Committee also made certain recommendations.
In line with Section 16(1) of the N.D.E Act, special committees in each State of the Federation would be set up for the purpose of deliberating, selecting and recommending the names of the 1,000 persons from each of the Local Government Areas in the States to be engaged for this programme. The Committees would also identify the projects to be executed in those L.G.As. These special committees would be known as the State Selection Committees of the Special Public Works (SPW). It shall be a 20-member Committee comprising of the following persons:
(1) A Chairman and Vice-Chairman who shall be indigenes of that State or who are ordinarily resident in that State.
(2) The State Co-ordinator of the N.D.E of that State who will be the Secretary.
(3) One representative of the Governor of that State.
(4) The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria of that State or his representative/nominee.
(5) The State Chairman of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs or his representative/nominee.
(6) The State Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers or his representative/nominee.
(7) The market woman leader in that State
(8) Three persons (one from each Senatorial District) representing the traditional institutions in that State.
(9) Two persons (one male and one female) from each of the Senatorial District of the State (that is six persons) representing prominent youth organisations in those States.
(10) A representative of a prominent Civil Society Organisation of that State.
(11) Two persons representing some peculiar interests in those States.
All members of the State Selection Committees would not be persons holding any official position in any of the registered political parties. If any of those listed also doubles as an official of any political party, then the State Chairman of the Selection Committee of the SPW shall fill that position with another person representing that interest. We have stated this in order to make
For the purpose of transparency and accountability in the process, the President approved the use of select banks to register and collate data of the beneficiaries. The banks will open accounts for all beneficiaries and in the process obtain BVN for those without accounts. Consequently, all payments would be made from the CBN directly to the accounts of the beneficiaries. The banks will also simultaneously register the participants for the Special Works Programme. Apart from the transparency and accountability this will achieve, one of the benefits of the exercise is that more Nigerians would be captured in the financial system thereby enhancing the financial inclusion drive of Government. Eventually, the data collated by the banks would be passed on to my office for use in the programme implementation
Are you one of the ESPW Beneficiaries and have not been paid, if the answer is yes then this is for you.
In this article, you will be thought how to check and monitor your payment without visiting the bank or asking anyone for assistance but first before proceeding, you must take note of the following;
- Your State
- the bank
- the local Government Area of Registration
- Name and surname
- Mobile Phone Number
- Bank Verification Number (BVN)
Are you one of the ESPW Beneficiaries? follow the steps below
- Enter your State of Registration
- Enter your registered Surname
- Enter your registered first name
- Enter your registered phone Number
To verify, CLICK HERE to find out
Have you not been paid? if yes, then enter your Bank Verification Number (BVN) to Check if you have been verified for payment by your bank, CLICK HERE TO CHECK