The Rivers State Government has pulled out of the Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government where seven hundred and seventy-four thousand unskilled Nigerians were supposed to be employed.
Nominee of the Rivers State government in the Committee, Erastus Awortu made the decision of the state known in a letter addressed to the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo.
Awortu, who is also the Special Adviser to Governor Nyesom Wike on NDDC, alleged that the implantation of the programme which is designed to employ one thousand persons per Local government area has been hijacked by the All Progressives Congress, APC in Rivers State.
The Rivers State nominee, Erastus Awortu, described the Special Public Works Programme as a scam.
“At the beginning, some guidelines were set on how the slots should be shared among the various interest groups. The various interest groups are 35 and have representatives in the committee but unfortunately, that is not being done by the Committee. The guidelines are not being followed.
“The Committee has been asking people to process their applications but we found out that they also gave out forms to APC members in the state. Which means they already know those they will shortlist for the programme and they are only stressing other people to apply. They are doing that to justify that due process is being followed but that is not the case.
“I find it very misleading and as the representative of the Governor, I will not be part of that kind of process where the populace will be made to apply for what is not available.
“It is an absolute scam.
“Accordingly, I want to say that since the slots are not defined as per the guidelines that the state is willing to allow the programme be run fully as an APC empowerment programme for their members and cease to be part of it forthwith,” Awortu said.
Chairman of the Special Public Works Programme in River state, Innocent Barikor had on a radio programme over the weekend in Port Harcourt, said the committee had no plans to undermine the state government in the implementation of the programme.
Governor Nyesom Wike and the Chairman of the Public Works Programme, Innocent Barikor were copied in the withdrawal letter.