774000 Jobs: National Assembly Asks FG to Halt Recruitment Exercise: The National Assembly has asked the federal government to halt the implementation of the 774,000 Public Works until it is properly briefed by the Minister of Labour and Productivity.
The Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Mr. Festus Keyamo, had, on Tuesday, clashed with members of National Assembly Joint committees on Labour over the membership of the 20-man selection committee.
Trouble started when the lawmakers challenged the minister over what they termed ‘lopsidedness’ in the composition of the committee members.
The Director-General of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Mr. Nasiru Ladan, whose agency the programme is domiciled, said he had no knowledge of how the minister arrived at the composition of the committee.
The lawmakers called for an executive session to resolve the differences but Keyamo disagreed, insisting that everything must happen on camera and a rowdy session ensued.
The tensed atmosphere escalated when the committee members accused Kayamo of trying to dictate their proceedings to them and demanded an apology.
The minister, after his refusal to apologise to the lawmakers, was walked out of the session.
The National Assembly, in a joint statement Wednesday, asked its committees on Labour and Productivity to immediately invite the Minister for Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige and any other relevant officials of the Ministry to appear before them to brief it on the modality for the implementation of the programme.
The statement was signed by the spokespersons of the Senate and House of Representatives, Senator Ajibola Basiru and Benjamin Kalu respectively.
The lawmakers said they were concerned about the proper and effective implementation of the engagement of 774,000 Public Works Workers.
The National Assembly said it was part of the conception of the programme, approved it and appropriated funds for its implementation as part of the COVID-19 response strategy.
“In accordance with the constitutional imperative of oversight, the legislature being important stakeholders in the democratic process, and elected representatives of the people, needed to be appraised of modalities for implementation for effective feedback to our constituents and in ensuring that our constituents optimally participate in and benefit from the process,” it said.