Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River, on Wednesday, said that his administration would employ 8,000 youths as part of the COVID-19 palliatives.
Ayade, who made the disclosure in Calabar at the flag-off of the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives, said that the jobs would be given out on April 21.
He also said that each of the youth given the job would be paid N30,000 as stipend.
The governor directed all the youth in the state to register for capturing at the Government House, U.J. Esuene Stadium, Traditional Rulers’ Council Office or the State Property Development Investment Limited (CROSPIL).
Ayade also said that the food items, which would be shared among traditional rulers and heads of religious organisations for onward distribution to their subjects and members respectively, were for the poorest of the poor in the state.
“The real thing will be on April 21, when every resident of Cross River, who is above 18, will be given a job.
“This is because anybody looking at life without livelihood is looking forward to disaster.
“So, if you don’t have work, go and put down your name at the stadium, CROSPIL or Traditional Rulers’ Council and the pay will be N30,000.
“Apart from this warehouse in Calabar, we have two other warehouses at the central senatorial district in Ikom and the northern senatorial district in Ogoja, where food palliatives will be shared,” he said.
He also encouraged the people to continue to use their facemasks for the prevention of the dreaded COVID-19.
The governor added that the state would produce all the facemasks and hand sanitisers needed by residents without bringing them from other states.
He, however, appealed to the Federal Government to support the industries in the state, saying that this was the only way to ensure that the state and the nation thrived.
The state Chairman of the COVID-19 Taskforce, Dr Betta Edu, said over 250, 000 households would receive food from all the state warehouses.
“We will be using three gateways in the sharing. The religious leaders, the traditional rulers and the World Bank poverty register.
“Also, special provision has been made to cover those at the internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and the over 40,000 refugees from Cameroon in the state,” she said.
In his remarks, Rev. Fr. Bob Etta, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Religious Matters, thanked the governor for his efforts at reaching the vulnerable in the society.
Etta said that his office was working with the state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to ensure that the palliatives got to all the churches in the state for onward distribution to their members.
The Chief Imam of Calabar Central Mosque, Kabir Olowolayemo, thanked God for “bringing mankind back to humanity.”
According to him, as the state government is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for it to fight hunger too.
While commending the state government for its efforts, Olowolayemo appealed for more assistance.