MinIster of State for Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo says the Federal Government is yet to disburse N7.3 billion to the remaining beneficiaries of government’s 774, 000 Special Public Works Programme.

He made the revelation during the budget defence organised by Senate Committee on Labour and Employment for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) held in Abuja on Monday.

Keyamo, who noted that the delay was due to bank issues, promised that the ministry would ensure that the funds were disbursed before the end of December.

The programme was introduced in October 2019, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval. Domiciled in the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), it seeks to address the problem of unemployment across the country, especially in the rural areas, thus making the unemployed youths more useful to themselves and society. Beneficiaries are to be paid N20,000 a month for three months.

Keyamo, while making clarifications on the commercial banks used in disbursing the fund said “why we insisted on certain banks was because of auditing process.

“This is so that we have a clear audit instead of us chasing banks all over the place.

“We said the bank should use their local branches to ensure that those 1,000 people selected in that local government area go to those banks within that locality.”

The minister, however, said that the ministry had opened up the process whereby beneficiaries could use any bank in their locality.

“We have made an adjustment in the last few months. We are not attaching a particular bank to a local government again. So, no matter what it is, we will achieve 98 per cent success on the programme.”

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