By Favour Nnabugwu and Alice Festus
As part of its efforts to reduce joblessness in the country, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, said it would employ the services of 17,000 youths under the Subsidy Re-Investment Empowerment Programme, SURE-P who will ensure the continuous maintenance of Federal roads across the country.
The youths, would be indigenes of the various communities located close to the 17,000 kilometers highway. The SURE-P Committee Convener on Public Works, Mrs Ngozi, Olojeme who led FERMA on an inspection tour fn road patches being carried out along Abuja-Keffi road, said the recruits would work in collaboration with FERMA engineers.
The project is an adaptive scaling-up of current FERMA direct labour agency activities. It is aimed at creating mass employment opportunities through the implementation of a national Road Maintenance Public Works Programme. The programme also focuses on the provision of safe and motorable trunk roads across the economic zones of the country
Her words: “4,556 youths have so far been employed out of the 10,000 previously targeted by the agency while we intend to engage the balance of 5,444 before the end of June this year. We will also employ another 17,000 youths. We want to involve indigenes along Federal roads as labourers. Those indigenes will be working on their own roads that affect their lives directly. The labourers should be the indigenes of the localities, while the leaders and heads of the team could come from anywhere a far as they are Nigerians”.
Continuing, she said: “FERMA is doing a great job, as you can see from our inspection from Abuja down to Nasarawa State all the road patterns are working; people are working hard to reduce portholes to zero level. What necessitated this outing is that we have to be working everyday to achieve our mandate; our mandate is to make sure Nigerians enjoy good roads and that is what we are out to do. We have been traveling to all the states in Nigeria to make sure these jobs are carried out and the results are achieved”.