PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly asked the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, to go ahead with the recruitment process of the 774,000 jobs across the country under the government special public works programme.
Recall that the Joint Committee on Labour, Productivity and Employment of the National Assembly had recently announced the suspension of the programme and directed the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, to take control and bring to the parliament how he intends to execute the programme.
Keyamo had earlier lamented that some politicians had been making efforts to hijack the programme and vowed not to succumb to any form of blackmail in executing the special public work programme.
He also said that the legislature will not dictate to the executive, adding that the action of the National Assembly on the execution of the programme was an affront on President Buhari. However, it was reported that Mr. Keyamo met with the president and reported his encounter with the national assembly over the programme.
According to the report, President Buhari was said to be furious, bemoaning the national assembly’s penchant for meddling in matters on the purview of the executive.
He was said to have told the minister to proceed with the execution of the programme and to ensure it is conducted ”strictly according to existing laws”.
The President also asked the DG of the NDE to halt any alternative plan on the programme with the national assembly committee. The reports further stated that the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has written to the national assembly asking it to stay within the remit of its statutory responsibilities.
Sources close to the face-off between Keyamo and the National Assembly also confirmed that President Buhari has given the Minister a ‘go-ahead order’ with the execution of the programme.
Keyamo had inaugurated the committees made up of 20 people in each state which will be in charge of engaging 774,000 citizens in the special works programme.
Nigerians enlisted on the programme are expected to carry out public services such as street sweeping, waste disposal and the like.
The programme is aimed at engaging young jobless citizens as well as providing a means of sustenance for them.