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Thursday, 2 July 2020

National Assembly Suspends 774,000 Public Works Jobs

The National Assembly has suspended the 774, 000 Federal Government’s Public Works Programme until proper briefing of the assembly by the Minister of Labour and Productivity.

A statement signed by the Spokesman of the Senate, Senator Ajibola Basiru and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, said the National Assembly is concerned about the proper and effective implementation of the engagement of 774, 000 public workers.

Basiru reminded 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.

They said 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 added that the oversight function is to ensure that the money is used for the purpose for which it is meant for.

According to the statement, if the president “sees that their power is being encroached, they can approach the court of law.

It would be recalled that the minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo was ordered out of the National Assembly on Tuesday following his refusal to apologise after the legislators accused him of raising his voice against them.

The National Assembly Joint Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity,  had summoned the minister and the Director General of the National Directorate of Employment, Mr Nasiru Argungu, to brief its members on the steps so far taken to recruit 774, 000 people.

Trouble started when the lawmakers criticised  Keyamo for allegedly engaging in a lopsided recruitment without the active involvement of the  NDE, the agency that got N52bn approval from the National Assembly to implement the programme.

The argument that ensued afterwards led to a shouting match between both parties which later forced the lawmakers to order Keyamo out of the meeting.

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