The national assembly has insisted that the minister of state for labour and employment, Festus Keyamo will not be handling the recruitment of 774,000 citizens under a special works programme.
This resolution was reached in the senate and the house of representatives following motions passed in both chambers.
Senator Opeyemi Bamidele who moved a motion in the red chamber, stated that the ministry of labour will take up a supervisory role while theNational Directorate of Employment (NDE) will handle the recruitment.
“The senate hereby reiterates its support of the initiative of Mr President aimed at creating additional 774,000 temporary jobs for Nigerians.
“There is the need to go ahead and cooperate with the executive arm of government under Mr President’s watch to ensure the smooth and full implementation of the programme as provided for in the revised appropriation law passed by the national assembly.
“That while recognising the supervisory role of the ministry labour and employment, the senate notes that the need for it in its oversight and further legislative actions in respect of this programme the need to hold the NDE responsible both for the implementation of the programme and surrendering of accounts for monies appropriated by the programme by the national assembly.”
Hon Toby Okechukwu who also moved a motion in the lower chamber, affirmed that section 2 of NDE act vests the agency with the responsibility to “combat” mass unemployment. He added that the attitude of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo could jeopardize the capacity of the national assembly to oversight MDAs.
“The supervisory powers conferred on the minister of labour by section 15 of the NDE act do not condone any abnormalities or allow the minister to do so without regards to the law.
“Aware that by our laws as presently constituted, the NDE is an implementing agency with the minister of labour, not minister of state, an aberration and indeed an entity unknown to the law, is the supervising minister.
“Mindful that the term ‘minister of state’ is not a creation of section 145 (1) of the 1999 constitution.
“This may therefore be the reason for the refusal of the minister of state to be guided on the method adopted by parliament for its proceedings and his assertion that ‘only Mr. President can stop our work’, not our laws nor our institutions.”
The motions were passed in both chambers after being subjected to a voice vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house.