The Bayelsa government has surpassed a target of 16,000 jobs for youths with a World Bank loan and grant component finance from the European Union (EU).
The bilateral fund administered under State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) Project has impacted some 17,685 youths with temporary jobs for a one year period from June 2013 till date.
It will be recalled that Bayelsa on November 21, 2018 commenced the deployment of one million dollars bilateral loan it obtained from the World Bank in addition to an earlier $50 million loan and grant component from European Union (EU).
The national secretariat of the World Bank-intervention SEEFOR Project on Thursday said Bayelsa qualified to benefit from the Phase Two of the SEEFOR Project haven surpassed set targets.
The national coordinator, SEEFOR Project, domiciled in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Dr Greg Onu, gave Bayelsa the pass mark shortly after a tour of projects with newsmen in Yenagoa
Onu observed that Bayelsa SEEFOR Project had surpassed most of its targets in youth employment and public works in the implementation of the programme since its commencement in 2013.
Onu noted that the state had constructed 402 concrete roads in communities as against its target of 137 and had employed 17,685 youths above the 16,000 benchmark for youth employment during the period.
The 402 concrete roads are mainly targeted at schools, health facilities and markets which translate to over 70km of roads constructed through direct labour.
Onu emphasised that Bayelsa was also “making serious progress in component “B” of the project which is public financial management reforms.”
“Phase two projects depend on the performance of SEEFOR phase one projects. We have ticked Bayelsa good for performing above average.
“They have surpassed their targets. We have yearly targets. We also have end-of-the-year targets. In summary, Bayelsa has surpassed most of its targets, going forward.” Onu said.
Also speaking, the state SEEFOR Project coordinator, Mr Ayens Adogu, said the agency was determined to improve on the quality of projects executed for the development of communities.
“The aim of the project is to improve the living condition of the people. Communities must move from a bad state of development to a good state of development.
“If you are in a certain state with poor index of development that is bad, you cannot continue to be there, you have to make progress” he said.
He noted that the project which pays beneficiaries a wage of N20,000 for a one year period would increase the wages to reflect the new minimum wage adding that the N20,000 was benchmarked with the old N18,000 minimum wage.
“We are looking at the new minimum wage even though this is an intervention project, we operate within the extant laws and all our partners are looking at the possibility of reflecting the Minimum Wage Act going forward,” he said