- The minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo, has reacted to the controversy between him and the members of NASS committee on employment
- Keyamo said 15% of the 774,000 jobs proposed by the FG has already been allocated to the NASS
- According to him, the federal lawmakers insisted on getting more slots at the expense of Nigerian youths
Following the controversy that greeted the appearance of the minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo, before the committee of the National Assembly (NASS) over the proposed 774,000 jobs by the federal government, the minister has reacted.
Premium Times reports that the minister said while Nigerians were preparing for massive recruitment of 774,000 unemployed and unskilled workers, 15% of the jobs (116,100) has already been allocated to the federal lawmakers.
Legit.ng gathered that Keyamo added that the lawmakers were still not satisfied with what they were given.
Speaking to journalists after a stormy session with lawmakers on Tuesday, June 30, in Abuja, Keyamo said: “They still want to hijack the entire programme, taking over the power of the president in the process."
The minister clashed with the lawmakers at a meeting he had with the joint committee of the NASS on employment and labour.
The meeting was aimed at discussing the progress of the planned employment of 774,000 Nigerians by the federal government.
The NASS had in the 2020 budget appropriated N52 billion for the special public works programme aimed at employing 774,000 citizens, a thousand from each of the 774 local government areas in the country.
Keyamo told journalists the inter-ministerial committee recommended a 20-man committee which was approved by the ministry, adding that the lawmakers pressured him to submit the names of those involved in the recruitment process.
“The chairman insisted I must come to them privately for them to hand over to me certain instructions as to how this programme will be across the country. I said ‘no’ that would be sharing the powers of the president and that I can only be answerable for what I have done by virtue of the provisions of the constitution. They can only investigate the programme, they cannot direct it,” he said.
However, the chairman of the NASS committee, Godiya Akwasiki, denied the allegations by the minister.
He explained that the NASS has a duty to check the appropriation act that allows for spending and the allocated money that should be spent by the National Directorate of Employment under the ministry.
"We asked the minister to brief us how he came about that committee. He said it was a tripartite committee set up by Mr President that comprised of eight ministries but we disagreed with him on that because we are lawmakers and we try to work always within the ambit of the law for the implementation of whatever we have for the Nigerian people," he said.
Meanwhile, Keyamo was reportedly walked out of a meeting by some senators.
Legit.ng had reported that members of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on labour had invited Keyamo to give details of the special public works programme.
The lawmakers wanted to find out the method of selection of a 20-man committee from each state for the programme.