The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Barr. Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday, said the processes of recruiting 774,000 Nigerians across the 774 local government areas for the 774,000 federal government job has not been suspended.
Barr. Keyamo stated this in a statement made available to Igbere TV, in reaction to the alleged suspension of the FG programme under the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) by the National Assembly, following his disagreement with them.
The minister was earlier in the day walked out of a meeting with the lawmakers, who had invited him to give details of the special public works programme, which aims to engage and pay 774,000 unskilled youths N20,000 for three months.
But in the statement, Barr. Keyamo said the National Assembly lacks the power to suspend the programme. He accused the lawmakers of wanting to dictate and control the programme, saying he would rather quit the job than compromise.
He, therefore, directed all the Selection Committees across the 36 States of the federation inaugurated on Monday, for the 774,000 jobs, to proceed with their work unhindered, saying “only Mr. President can stop their work.”
The statement reads,
“Today, in obedience to their invitation, I appeared before the Joint Committees on Labour of both the Senate and the House. The Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members sought to be briefed on the implementation of the Special Public Works Programme so far.
However, there was a misunderstanding between us when they questioned why I did not privately submit the program to them for vetting before taking certain steps. They suggested that they ought to have an input on how the programme should be implemented. In other words, they sought to control the programme as to who gets what, where and how.
However, I insisted that I could not surrender the programme to their control since their powers under the constitution does not extend to that. They insisted on a closed door session.
At this point, I remarked that it was only fair for me to respond to their position before the press, since their own position was also made public. In any case, I remarked that the Nigerian people deserve to know the details of the execution of this all-important programme.
I was then asked to apologize for insisting on public interaction and I said there was nothing to apologize about because their powers to expose corruption provided for in section 88 of the Constitution cannot be exercised in private. As such, there was no need to apologize by insisting on a Constitutional provision. Even their Rules that may provide for private hearings on public matters cannot override the provisions of the Constitution. I was then permitted to leave. I took a bow and left. I NEVER walked out on the respected Committees as they may want to bend the narrative.
After I left, I understand that the Joint Committees purportedly suspended the work of the Selection Committees nationwide until they decide how the programme should be run and who should be in those Committees. My opinion is that it is tantamount to challenging the powers of Mr President.
I regret to say that their powers under section 88 of the 1999 Constitution is only limited to investigations, but NOT TO GIVE ANY DIRECTIVE TO THE EXECUTIVE.
Source: News update