The European Union and World Bank contributed 300 million dollars (N48 billion) grant for the implementation of “State Employment and Expenditure for Results” (SEEFOR) projects in four states, a minister said.
Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, Supervising Minister, National Planning Commission (NPC), made the disclosure on Friday at the national launch of SEEFOR projects in Abuja.
The launch was organised by NPC in collaboration with the World Bank, EU, Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the four SEEFOR participating states of Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers.
Yuguda said the project was initiated by the World Bank to improve the living conditions of the people of the Niger Delta, as part of its contribution to the amnesty programme of the Federal Government.
He said the overall objective of the project is to ensure improved standard of living of citizens and enhance financial management process in the country.
“The project has three main components, such as youth employment and access to socioeconomic services, public financial management reforms and project coordination and implementation support at the federal and sub-national levels.
“It is worthy to note that these three components form the tripod upon which the 2014 annual budget of Federal Government and the Transformation Agenda rest.”
Yuguda added that the Federal Government had established institutional framework to ensure coordination and effective delivery of the project at the national and state levels.
The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, said the bank grant was to assist in addressing youth restiveness, poverty and unemployment in the four states.
Marie-Nelly called for collective leadership and responsibility by stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of the project.
The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Michel Arrion, said youth empowerment was imperative as some youths engaged in terrorism activities due to poverty in the society.
Arrion said the EU gave the grant in consonance with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.
The Head of Service in Edo, Jerry Obazele, said the project had gone a long way in creating jobs for youths in the state.
Obazele said the state government had employed more than 500 youths through the project to sanitise environment and maintain roads.
“Through this project, we have succeeded in having 23 community empowerment driven programmes.
“Right now, 900 youths are being interviewed for employment and six technical colleges have fully been renovated.”