774,000 jobs: MURIC demands transparency

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774,000 jobs: MURIC demands transparency
Akintola

A muslim non-government organization, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has called on the federal government to be transparent in carrying out the employment scheme for 774,000 Nigerians across the country.

The scheme kicked off on Wednesday January 6, 2021.

In a statement by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the group applauded the government for the programme as it expressed the hope that many unemployed Nigerians will be taken away from the streets and crime rate reduced.

The statement reads in part:

“We warmly welcome the flagging off of the pilot Special Public Works Programme which is domiciled in the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) for implementation. We have no doubt that the project will pull out thousands of Nigerian youths from the streets and reduce crime.

“MURIC commends the Federal Government (FG) for resuscitating this age-long initiative of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). We see the project as one of the effective means of redistributing wealth and eliminating poverty in the country. The gigantic pilot project is expected to cost N46.44 billion or N52 billion when the costs of administration and logistics are added. Already, Delta State has reportedly received the sum of N1.59 billion for the scheme.

“However, we wish to warn against the hijack of the project by greedy officials, political shenanigans and religious demagogues who may be tempted to arrogate large percentage of the job slots to their cronies, court-jesters and boot-lickers. We demand absolute transparency, fairness and balanced representation.

“NDE must exhibit zero tolerance for the ghost worker phenomenon. The agency in charge must therefore ensure that accuracy in quoted figures and physical presence of those recruited for the job. Names of those employed and paid must be displayed in local government headquarters on a monthly basis.

“In view of the fact that transparency necessitates accountability, we call on the anti-corruption agencies in the country to set up adequate machinery for the purpose of monitoring the exercise. Those found wanting must be held accountable.

“In particular, no religious group should be allowed to dominate the operation at the expense of another. In this regard, we warn those who are usually inclined to shortchange others in the sharing of our common patrimony to keep off as we will not hesitate to expose any attempt to play hanky panky in any local government.”

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