The Delta State Coordina
tor of State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR), Mr Benson Ojoko, said the state government had given approval to scale up the project in all the 25 councils.
Ojoko told newsmen in Abuja that the projects were pilot projects in six local government areas and that the projects had been a huge success.
He listed the beneficiary councils as Oshimili South, Warri South, Uvwie, Ughelli North, Sapele and Udu.
Our correspondent reports that the SEEFOR project, which is being funded by the European Union (EU) and the World Bank, is aimed at employing youths in the informal sector.
The project is being implemented in four Niger Delta states of Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers through the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
The official said the objective of SEEFOR was to enhance youth employment opportunities and access to socio-economic services, while improving the public financial management systems of participating states.
“It will interest you to know that out of 7,750 beneficiaries of SEEFOR project in the implementing states, 4,431 of the youths have been employed in the implementation of the project in Delta.
“One thousand, three hundred and eighty six (1,386) of the jobs were created for males, while 3,045 jobs were created for females”.
He said that apart from the number of youths that had benefited, the state had adopted the project to ensure its sustainability.
“For instance, the Private Sector Participation (PSP) model in refuse disposal and collection, even when the contract elapsed since Oct. 2015, the government has continued implementing it.
“The government of Delta is running the project with the vision and they are not stopping it at the six pilot local government areas.
“The governor has seen the benefits accruable in the number of people employed in revenue generation and cleanliness of the environment.
“He has approved the scale up from the six local government areas to all the 25 local government areas of the state, “ the official said.
Ojoko said that the project showed a credible alternative to business in an unusual way, which the state had been benefiting beyond the immediate cash.
He said the state had also recorded success under the Technical Vocation Training Institution, and on the Commodity Intervention that the project had impacted at the grassroots level.
“But much more importantly is on the Medium-Term Support for Public Financial Management Reforms- with this intervention we have leverage on the support of the World Bank.
“We have leveraged on the support to have a draft Public Financial Management Law for Delta, a draft Audit and Economic Law and updated Fiscal Policy Paper and Budget Policy Statement.
“These are elements of Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) which were not there before the intervention.
“For the first time in the history of Delta State, the state government has been able to pass the MTEF document to the Executive Council and the State House of Assembly.
“This became the working document for budget preparation for 2016, “ the official said.
In addition, Ojoko said that the state had been paying its counterpart funding of N150 million annually, saying that the act demonstrated government‘s commitment to the project.
“I have seen the wisdom in this partnership with the World Bank and EU. For us in Delta, it is truly a demonstration of partnership for result. “
Our correspondent reports that the five-year project which started in 2012 would end in 2017.
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