By Esther Nworie
A retired permanent secretary in Ebonyi State, and a member of the federal government Special Public Works Programme (SPWP) in Ebonyi, Princess Ann Agomeze, has maintained that selection of beneficiaries of the three months programme will be based on interest and merit.
She spoke in Abakaliki on Friday during a selected Onicha Local Government Area stakeholders meeting where she said the programme is apolitical, adding that the programme is part of palliative to alleviate the sufferings of the people because of the pandemic.
While briefing the stakeholders from the local government on the programme, methods of selection and implementation of the project in Ebonyi State, Ann Agomeze explained that beneficiaries are not limited to any group “We need people with no education, we need people with primary education, secondary education and graduates. We will require 20% of people who have handwork to be selected.
The APC chieftain noted that, the programme can only be successfully implemented in the state if major stakeholders were informed on the modalities and also carried along at the early stage.
She urged various stakeholders in Onicha to ensure that only eligible members of the area were mobilized to take part in empowerment programme by carrying out enlightenment campaign.
“As these opportunities have come let us ensure we do it peacefully and be able to submit a list that everybody will appreciate. It is the success that will determine whether federal government will go on with the program or not.
“The success of the programme will determine if it will continue, hence we must collectively work to ensure it succeeds.
“This program is apolitical, is expected to include everybody and we all know that in politics someone who is against you today may want to die for you tomorrow so it is expected that it will be inclusive, especially those whom this programne is geared towards. Those people at the grassroots that can’t go to the internet.
“We believe it will produce more result than the Npower, it will reach out more than the Npower and our president who has ensured that everybody is carried along that the dividends of democracy gets down to the lowest people in Nigeria. This project is going on simultaneously in the 774 local Government Area in Nigeria and if you multiply it, you can imagine the amount of money federal government is going to spend to ensure this programme is achieved.
Some of the stakeholders at the meeting including Dr. Christian Umoke, commended the federal government for introducing a program that will touch many vulnerable and poor people in Nigeria whose situation is worsened because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Umuoke, pointed out that the program which is targeted at the poor both skilled and unskilled will lift some people out of poverty. He urged Onicha people to enlist and fulfill all the necessary requirements to be part of the program.
A veteran journalist, Ogbonnaya Odabe on his part urged the committee to be transparent so that everybody will know that it is free of corruption, adding that they should carry everybody along.
“If it is none partisan, everybody should be involved whether you are PDP, ACN APC, when hunger comes everybody feels it and Mr. President has introduced the programme to relieve people of hunger and poverty so it should go down to everybody irrespective of party, religion or whatever”.Follow us