Bayelsa targets 7,000 temporary jobs from $50m World Bank development loan

  • As Iran, Spanish company sign $615 million deal for oil pipes

The Bayelsa government on Wednesday said it planned to create at least 7,000 temporary jobs from the implementation of projects funded from the 50 million dollara development facility from the World Bank.

The loan stock is part of World Bank’s intervention with 200 million dollars in four states in the Niger Delta region mainly Bayelsa, Edo, Rivers and Delta.

Addressing newsmen after a project tour of completed and ongoing interventions, Mr Ayens Adogu, Project Cordinator of State Expenditure For Results (SEFOR) Bayelsa, said more than 3,000 jobs had so far been created in the first phase of the project.

He said that there were indications that the state would exceed the targetted 7,000 at the end of the second phase of the programme following the successes so far recorded in the first phase.

The youth, according to him, were engaged to provide labour for the concrete road projects for a period of one year and being paid a monthly stipend of N20,000 while a new set of youths are engaged at the end of the year to rotate the jobs among the unemployed.

Adogu said that the development of some micro projects were implemented with direct labour approach, to engage unemployed youths who were trained in skills and entrepreneurship, to enable them to seek self employment at the end of the temporary jobs.

He said that part of the conditions of the temporary one-year jobs included a compulsory saving which could only be withdrawn at the end of the contract to assist as start-up capital at the end of the one-year contract.

He explained that SEEFOR project was a collaboration between the Bayelsa Government, World Bank and European Union to fund quick impact development projects like concrete walkways, streets, market stalls, craft centres and health centres .

According to him, benefiting communities are selected based on needs and readiness of the communities to contribute 10 percent of the N10 million set aside for each benefiting community.

Adogu said that some 108 micro public works projects had so far been completed in the first phase of the project while SEEFOR just advertised expression of interest for contractors for 136 new projects.

The Project Coordinator said that the projects had impacted positively on the lives of beneficiaries, especially in the rural communities by kick starting economic activities in processing of agricultural produce like cassava and fish.

“The government of Bayelsa is using the World Bank credit to reflate the economy of the state and boost economic activities to improve the living standards of the people.

“The impact of the project has touched the state’s economy; for instance, the payment of over 3,000 hitherto unemployed youths involves 10 banks and not to mention the award of small contracts for the over 108 micro public works projects across the state.

He said that the 50 million dollars development facility had a 40-year tenor and 10-year moratorium at concessionary interest rate.

In the meantime, Iran on Wednesday signed a deal worth $615 million — or euros 550 million — with a Spanish-Iranian consortium under which the group will provide pipes used in Iran’s oil industry.

It was the first major deal for Iran’s oil industry since President Hassan Rouhani’s re-election last week to another term in office on a platform of reform and greater openness to the international community. The consortium, which includes Spain’s Tubacex S.A. and Iran’s Foolad Isfahan Company, will produce pipes made of a corrosion resistant alloy for a network of 600 kilometers, or about 370 miles, over three years.

The statement said the pipes will be produced using Japan’s JFE Steel Corporation technology, and that the know-how will eventually be given to the Iranians.

At a ceremony marking the signing, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said he was “delighted that a deal worth more than 550 million euros is being signed.”

“The Iranian manufacturer is happier than us and perhaps our foreign partner is the happiest party of all today, to have secured itself a long-term market” in Iran, Zanganeh added.

The minister said that during the years of punitive sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, the industry faced a severe shortage of pipes and were the sanctions still in place, “we would be unable to produce them now.”

“I think it is the biggest tender we have had in this industry for a lot of years,” said Antonio Rafael, deputy CEO of Tubacex. “It is very professionally managed.”

Iran has been trying to renovate its oil industry since the 2015 landmark nuclear deal with world powers. The country exports 2 million barrels of oil per day, which compromises more than 30 percent of the country’s annual budget.

Additional report from Abc