During Christmas in a village meeting, just before an annual festival, the chairman of the age grade handling the event challenged people to maintain order to avoid NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) ever visiting our village. Yes, it is like insurance – the best insurance policy is the one you never filed a claim, because you did not have any problem. So, when you pay that premium, your desire is that things will be fine and that money is forever “lost” during the cover period. That is why I tell people that it is not a bad thing that NEMA has not helped your community. Most times, the reason is simple: your community does not have emergencies! That NEMA is always mobilizing to give people help is not something you should wish for your city, community or village.
That takes me to the news that the Nigerian government wants to create 774,000 jobs by generating 1,000 jobs per local government area. Each recipient will receive N20,000 monthly to carry out public works. As typical in Nigeria, it makes no sense that my local government of Isuikwuato (Abia state) will produce 1,000 people, at parity with Eti-Osa local government (Lagos).
The federal government has unveiled the details of its plan to employ at 1,000 persons from each of the 774 local government areas in the country.
The initiative will start October 1 and each beneficiary will be paid N20,000 monthly to carry out public works, the minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo, announced Thursday.
The programme starts on the 1st of October, 2020 and we are already tight on schedule.
In the next two weeks we will empanel and empower all the State Selection Committees so they can commence the onerous task of selection of beneficiaries and projects locally.
A website would be developed immediately where information such as composition and contact of the Selection Committees, list of the selected beneficiaries and chosen projects would be displayed for the public.
But that is not the real deal. The deal is that Nigeria wants to borrow FRESH $5.513 billion to help finance the national budget, among others, including those magic jobs!
For the proposed external loan to finance the revised budget, the president listed four lenders. They include:
-International Monetary Fund – $3,400,000,000
-World Bank – $1,500,000,000
-African Development Bank – $500,000,000
-Islamic Development Bank – $113,000,000
For the priority projects for the federal government, the lenders are:
-African Development Bank – $125 million “to strengthen the healthcare system to improve response to COVID-19” and $23 million for “financing smallholder farmers to mitigate food security impact of COVID-19.”
-Islamic Development Bank – $600 million for support of Nigeria’s response to challenges posed by COVID-19.
-African Export-Import Bank – $500 million for provision of critical Medical supplies to combat COVID-19.
-Export-Import Bank of Brazil – €995 million for Green imperative to enhance mechanisation of agriculture and agro-processing in Nigeria.