Reporter | ParadiseNews 

As part of measures to cushion the economic impact of lockdown following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Cross River state governor, Sir Ben Ayade Tuesday commenced the recruitment of 8,000 youths for a flat salary of N30,000 a month.

The flag off, which is in furtherance of the governor’s promise to give 8000 youths automatic employment, took took place at the Ayade Industrial Park in Calabar.
Speaking at the event tagged Job Carnival, the governor explained that the initiative was geared at teaching the youths how to fish rather than handing them fish.
According to him, “It is difficult to continue putting food on people’s tables. If today I bring you bags of rice, beans and everything else and tomorrow I do the same, by the third day you are becoming a beggar.
“Any man who loses his identity and integrity, who cannot work with his own style has lost humanity and that is what makes you a human being.
“And so I do not want to turn my people to beggars who will depend on the gift of food. Rather, I have invented a system of only giving food to our old parents, the physically challenged, those who cannot farm , those who cannot fish because you don’t give fish to a fisherman.”
The governor said as a leader, his duty was to ensure that no Cross Riverian goes to bed on an empty stomach.
His words: “A young man with all the energy cannot be allowed to waste it, you can only engage that energy. If you give him food with all that youthful energy he will still exert it either on something good or bad.
“So, we need to take that energy you have and convert it into value. That is why we are gathered here today, even though we do not have enough but we care enough. We have to show compassion and care.”
He said he had to personally flag off the exercise to underscore the seriousness he attaches to the initiative.
“I have no elections to run, but I have to do this personally. I have a Commissioner of Finance, I have a Commissioner of Health, I have different people who could do this, it’s not my job but I am here personally to oversee this process because I didn’t seek power for the mere aggrandizement of the office but clearly to serve”.
The Cross River state governor maintained that the job recruitment cuts across the 18 local governments of the state, including non indigens resident in the state, adding that the job category covers different sectors of the economy with emphasis on Agriculture
“The 18 Local Government are here including non indigenes and we are going to take as much as we can…We have lots of equipments here as you can see and if you are interested in becoming bulldozer drivers please indicate in your form, for those who want to drive tractors and payloaders please indicate same in your forms. We also have category for farming, litter picking, urban renewal, please indicate accordingly.
“It is only in Nigeria that you have full students. In Europe you find students who are in school and working at the same time, so here we will give students work too.”
Ayade urged the applicants to use the N30,000 monthly payment judiciously if employed, adding, N30000 is no money but at least it is better than nothing. Here at the industrial park we have many factories and we are ready to employ many more to man these factories especially widows.
“I advice you, choose a job close to your home so that you don’t end up spending all the N30,000 on transport every month. This program is our own little way of supporting you through this difficult period as a government.”

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