In a bid to provide permanent succour to Cross Riverians amidst the Covid 19 lockdown, Gov Ben Ayade has said his government would employ 8000 unemployed youths who are between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
The Governor, who made the remarks Wednesday while flagging off the state-wide distribution of Covid 19 relief materials to individuals, groups and associations in Calabar, said the new employees would be paid N30,000 across board whatever applicant’s qualification and state of origin were.
Ayade urged unemployed youths residing in the state to go to the U.J Esuene Sport stadium or the Governor’s office to register their names for inclusion in the state government job creation empowerment programme.
“Eight thousand youths will be employed next Tuesday. Those ending high in my administration will have their salaries slashed to accommodate others. It is good for us to collect 30,000 to survive in this harsh period than one person collecting so much.
“The food items we give out is just palliatives, it is temporal. We shall give you something permanent and that is the job opportunity we have created for 8000 people. Please don’t allow hunger to kill you at home due to Covid 19 fear.
“Go to my office and put your name down for automatic employment even if you are not from Cross River but you reside here. This is so because humanity does not recognize tribe, colour and language,” he stated.
The Governor restated his earlier position on provision and protection of means of livelihood as the policy thrust of his administration in addition to protection of lives from the global scourge.
He also frowned at African leaders depending absolutely on the developed countries for nearly everything, including the covid 19 vaccines, adding “I don’t know what our problem is in this continent. Our Universities would teach how to produce vaccines but at the same time we are waiting for the white man to send us vaccines. We over-depend on foreign help, foreign helps would breed foreign trouble.
“We in Cross River are yet to collect the Covid 19 masks and other things they sent to our country because we want to be sure they are not defective as other countries have alleged. We thank them for all the things they sent to us but we should be satisfied with the ones we have locally, like our face masks.”
Dr Beta Edu, Chairman of Covid 19 Response Team in the State, in her remarks commended the Governor for his approach in ensuring the State remains covid 19 free, and submitted that the State was giving template on how best to tackle the global pandemic.
Throwing light on the said employment, Secretary to the State government, Barrister Tina Banku Agbor listed the sectors of the state’s economy where youths would be employed into to include Health, Security, Environment and Agriculture.
A statement released from her office “In view of the COVID-19 lockdown and its attendant consequences on livelihoods leading to job losses, daily income difficulties, waste of youthful energy, and in order to reduce public anxiety, youth restiveness and lower social tension, the Cross River State Government is set to recruit young men and women from the ages of 18-35, with the exception of those in the health sector, on a flat monthly salary of #30,000.
“To ready the state’s agricultural sub-sector for a major role in a post-COVID-19 Nigeria, 5000 young people are to be recruited under a revolutionary agricultural programme that utilizes modern farming techniques, mechanization and digitalization”.
She disclosed further that another set of 1000 young people would be recruited into various agencies of government, including the Green Police, whose core mandate include urban beautification, landscaping, maintenance of recreational parks, development of nurseries, horticulture and general sanitation.
It added that another 2000 young people would work in the state Homeland Security and the Border Patrol Agency whose key objective include effective enforcement of the lockdown of the state’s extensive border lines.
The Secretary added that besides the aforementioned 8000 youths, 400 doctors, 600 nurses and 1000 health officers would be brought into the State workforce for surveillance activity across every village in the state “in order to build capacity for COVID-19 response in the event of a full blown pandemic in the state.”