NASS suspends recruitment of 774,000 Nigerians
The National Assembly has suspended the Special Public Works programme initiated to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
Under the scheme, the Federal Government had planned to recruit 1000 people in each of the 774 local government areas of the country.
The programme was expected to take off in October this year.
But on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, spokesperson for the Senate, Ajibola Basiru, announced the suspension of the programme at a press conference in Abuja.
The suspension came following the disagreement between the lawmakers and the Minister of State for Employment, Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
The lawmakers had accused Keyamo of hijacking the scheme from the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), but the minister hit back saying they were the ones planning to hijack the programme.
In the statement, the lawmakers said the scheme was suspended to review the modality of how the workers would be engaged.
The statement reads, “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.”
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