The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the Federal Government’s 774,000 Special Public Works (SPW) job scheme will commence on Wednesday.
The minister said this at a new year media briefing on Monday in Lagos.
The programme is designed to engage 1,000 artisans from each of the country’s 774 local government areas in public works projects for three months, while each artisan would be paid N20,000 per month.
Mohammed said that the government had also launched the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) targeted at interested young Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
According to him, the aim of the scheme is to financially empower Nigerian youths to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023.
To mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy across all levels, the minister said the Federal Government had unveiled the Economic Sustainability Plan to support families, small and medium enterprises as well as the manufacturing sector.
Mohammed said that a major highlight of the plan entailed the provision of solar power to five million Nigerian households in the next 12 months.
He said that the initiative would produce 250,000 jobs and impact on 25 million beneficiaries through the solar power installation projects.
He said that various other interventions were made through the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme as well as the Trader and Market Moni loans.
“For the very vulnerable, significant steps taken include the expansion of the National Social Register to 3.6 million beneficiaries across the 36 states.
“Support was provided to over 8.8 million households through the 70,000 metric tons of food grains released from the Strategic Reserve.
“About 1.3 million vulnerable households also benefited from the Conditional Cash Transfers across 34 states,’’ he said.
The minister said that the Central Bank of Nigeria also announced a number of measures to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the reduction of the interest rate on intervention loans from nine per cent to five per cent
He said a one-year extension of a moratorium was also granted on principal repayments for CBN intervention facilities.
Mohammed also said that the CBN had created N50 billion target credit facility for affected small and medium enterprises, as well as N1 trillion in loans to boost local manufacturing and production across critical sectors.