As President Trump looks for how to stimulate jobs for Americans through changes in visa policies, Nigeria has opened its own playbook: borrow money and pay 774,000 people N20,000 per month under a special public works program for three months. Yes, the government is going to inaugurate a committee to select 774,000 people (1,000 per local government area) that would join the labour force, for only three months.
I do not think this is a good policy as it does not stimulate any leverageable factor for the nation. (Of course, this is not to be heartless to our fellow citizens who are without jobs; we sincerely hope everyone has a job.) This program will cost about N46 billion (or $129 million); an average of $21.5 million per geopolitical zone. My proposal remains: give Nigeria’s renewal energy startups $21.5 million per geopolitical region with location to provide 24/7 electricity. I am confident that instead of wasting $21.5 million in three months, per region, my option will create more than 1,000 jobs over a long-time period.
The federal government will on Monday inaugurate the state selection committees for the Special Public Works Programme.
The spokesperson of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Olua Davidson, in a statement said the inauguration would be done in Abuja by the minister of state, Festus Keyamo.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier announced the creation of the programme to mitigate lack of job opportunities in the rural areas through a short-term engagement of 1,000 unemployed persons per local government area for a period of three months.
The initiative which is to kick start on October 1 will pay the 774,000 beneficiaries an allowance of N20,000 monthly to carry out public work.
As that happens, Bola Tinubu has informed Nigerians that he has not decided to run for presidency (lol). Certainly, no one would expect him to announce three years ahead of time. But everyone knows that Tinubu will run. Whether he would win the ticket is now open to speculations after what happened over the last few days. Do not be surprised if most APC members move to PDP and join Atiku Abubakar. The dissolution of the National Working Committee in APC is a big matter on what happens in 2023. Tinubu is not having the best days politically; he needs to get his mojo back to have a presence in the party. If that is not managed well, APC can still zone the presidency to Southwest even when many have moved in the north to PDP!
But there is good news: SERAP, a non-profit, has filed a suit against the government and Central Bank of Nigeria, asking the entities to reveal the names of the beneficiaries of Covid-19 palliatives, reliefs, etc: ‘Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit asking the Federal High Court, Abuja, to order the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to “publicly identify and name Nigerians who have so far benefited from any cash payments, cash transfers, food distribution and other reliefs and palliatives during the lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states because of COVID-19.”’