The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity on Wednesday rejected resolutions of both chambers of the National Assembly calling for the removal of the Minister of State, Festus Keyamo, from supervising recruitment of 774,000 Nigerians for the Special Public Works programme.
The ministry’ s Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr Charles Akpan, in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja, said “ nothing has changed.”
The Senate and the House of Representatives had at their separate sessions on Tuesday, asked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), to stop Keyamo from supervising the recruitment of 774, 000 Nigerians.
Recall that the lawmakers and Keyamo last month clashed when the minister was ordered out of the sitting of the Senate committee investigating the special works programme. The senators accused him of raising his voice against them.
On July 1, the National Assembly said it had stopped the planned recruitment on the grounds that Keyamo had hijacked it from the National Directorate of Employment.
But despite the National Assembly ’s directive, Keyamo, on July 14 , said he had got the approval of the President to supervise the recruitment.
The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, and the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, subsequently met the President over the issue.
After the meeting, Buhari ’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement titled, “ President Buhari reads riot act to ministers, MDAs , chief executives on a relationship with NASS, ” said the President had warned his appointees that he would not accept any act of disrespect to the National Assembly.
On Tuesday, the National Assembly said the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, should supervise the programme.
In the Senate, the Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Opeyemi Bamidele, brought the motion through a point of order.
He said Keyamo erred in law by taking over an assignment which was constitutionally assigned to the NDE through the Revised 2020 Appropriation Act.
He said the Federal parliament approved N52bn for the NDE to execute the exercise but lamented that the labour ministry, through Keyamo , had hijacked it.
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