- Lawmakers order suspension of exercise, Keyamo counters directive
By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Indication has emerged that Federal Government and National Assembly is set for a showdown as the faceoff between both arm of government over the 774,000 job slots continues to rage.
Recall that after Tuesday’s violent interface between the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, and the National Assembly joint committee on Labour, the Minister issued a statement directing all the State selection committees to proceed with their work.
However, at the end of plenary on Wednesday, both chambers of the National Assembly issued a joint statement asking the Labour Ministry to suspend the selection process for beneficiaries of the 774,000 job slots.
According to the Statement signed by senator Ajibola Basiru and Hon. Benjamin O. Kalu, Senate and House spokespersons respectively, lawmakers demanded that before the recruitment can proceed, the implementation modalities for the job slots must be explained by the Ministry.
The statement said “The National Assembly is concerned about the proper and effective implementation of the engagement of 774,000 Public Works Workers and wishes to restate its commitment to its success.
“Accordingly, the National Assembly reminds members of the public that the Legislature was part of the conception of the programme, approved it and appropriated funds for its implementation as part of the COVID 19 response strategy.
“The National Assembly, in line with its constitutional oversight function, has mandated its Committees on Labour and Productivity to immediately invite the Hon. Minister for Labour and Productivity and any other relevant officials of the Ministry to appear before the joint committee to brief it on the modality for the implementation of the engagement of 774,000 persons for public works.
“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.
“In view of the foregoing, the implementation of the programme shall be on hold pending proper briefing of the National Assembly by the Minister of Labour and Productivity.
“The National Assembly will ensure transparency of the process just as done with the National Social Register by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and social Development”, the statement said.