nepPrime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, announced that about 1,200 persons are now employed under the National Employment Program (NEP).

The Prime Minister, at the 21st inaugural meeting of the St Joseph Village Council, insisted that the government remains committed to its social and economic programs, despite the passage of Tropical Storm Erika.

“Notwithstanding the passage of Tropical Storm Erika, this government has remained committed to a number of social and economic programs. For example, we now have, as we speak, about 1,200 Dominicans employed under the National Employment Program,” he stated, on Wednesday.

He fired at critics of the program, who he said described it as an election gimmick

“When we introduced the NEP, there were many who said that it was an election gimmick, that it wouldn’t last for six months, but we launched the program in 2012/2013, and we’re in 2016, and the National Employment Program is going strong, and fully financed by the government of Dominica,” he stated.

The NEP, introduced in December 2013, was said to have been initially designed to engage about 400 to 500 people, employed 1,499 people, in 2015.

Under the program, unemployed people are placed in public and private sector firms. The government then pays the salaries of those employed.

Skerrit also mentioned the Yes We Care program, and the daily transportation of children to their respective schools, as programs which were not impacted negatively by Tropical Storm Erika.