Senate Probes FG’s N52bn Public Works Scheme

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The National Directorate of Employment, under the direction of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, coordinated the N52 billion Special Public Works scheme that was implemented by the federal government in 2020. The Senate Public Accounts Committee began an investigation into the program yesterday.

The program aimed to employ 1,000 unskilled youngsters for three months in each of the 774 LGAs.

The recipients were required to perform public service tasks and receive a N20,000 monthly stipend.

Members of the committee, at an investigative hearing on Tuesday, discovered that N26bn of the total N52bn spent on the programme was accessed from the Service Wide Vote.

The panel is probing the N5trn Service Wide Votes spent by 252 agencies from 2017 to 2021.

Senators Thompson Sekibo (PDP, Rivers) and Michael Nnachi (PDP, Ebonyi) alleged that none of their constituents benefited from the scheme.

The committee directed the NDE to submit a comprehensive report on the beneficiaries of the scheme in 36 states and the FCT.

The committee specifically asked the agency to submit the names, phone numbers, and account details of the 774,000 beneficiaries.

A representative of NDE, Isah Abdul, who is a director in the agency, appealed for three weeks to compile the list.