Participants in the federal government’s Special Public Works (SPW) programme are protesting the delay in paying their stipend more than three months after kick off.
The SPW is an ad hoc programme designed by the government to provide stop-gap three months jobs to mainly artisans to earn N20,000 monthly doing public works.
One thousand youths were hired from each of the 774 local government in the country as beneficiaries, bringing the figure to 774,000 councils.
The programme was inaugurated on January 5. The first batch of beneficiaries have completed their assignment without being paid.
President Muhammadu Buhari on March 20 directed the release of funds to pay the stipends.
Minister of Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo (SAN) hours after, directed the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the Federal Government agency driving the programme, to start processing the payment plan.
Keyamo, in his official Tweeter handle, (@fkeyamo, assured the participants that they would soon receive alerts of payment.
Twenty two days after, no payment has been made.
Some of the participants at the weekend took to Keyamo’s twitter handle to ventilate their frustration.
One of them described the Federal Government as “heartless” for failing to pay them their stipend. One Dubagari Jnr, tweeted: “What is happening with the SPW? Up till now, we have not been paid and have successfully finished our work. Please Hon. minister we need explanations on why we have not been paid and you have to start the disbursement before fasting (Ramadan). (Nation)