President Muhammadu Buhari is understood to have taken steps contrary to the position of the National Assembly as regards the planned recruitment of 774,000 Nigerians as he has ordered Festus Keyamo to proceed with the recruitment exercise.
The 774,000 Nigerians are to be recruited under the federal government’s special public works programme.
However, Naija News recalls the National Assembly had ordered the process be put on hold after a clash with the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN).
The lawmakers had stated that Keyamo didn’t follow due process in his plans for the recruitment exercise hence, the process must start afresh, while Keyamo himself said the legislators were attempting to hijack the process, adding that no one could stop him except President Buhari.
This led to a war of words between the two parties at the meeting.
Hours after the clash, Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, pleaded with the National Assembly over its recent clash with the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo (SAN), and tendered an apology on his behalf.
The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, however, insisted that the recruitment programme must start afresh.
He also maintained that it was within the rights of lawmakers to demand and know the processes for implementing the programme.
Lawan vowed to resist any attempt of the Ministry of Employment Labour and Productivity to hijack the recruitment exercise.
According to the senate president, the recruitment must be implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
However, The Cable on Tuesday, quoting senior presidential sources claim President Muhammadu Buhari has given Festus Keyamo the green light to continue with the recruitment process.
Naija News also obtained an official tweet from the federal government’s twitter handle confiriming the recruitment process has kicked off.
The Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government has kicked off nationwide. The State Selection Committees have been inaugurated and have commenced work. Find the names and contact details of members of your State’s Committee here: https://t.co/d7YjB49JeE #NigeriaSPW
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) July 14, 2020
The President is understood to have been angry with the position of the lawmakers after he was briefed on Monday by Keyamo.
Buhari is reported to have noted that the action by the lawmakers contradicts the principle of separation of powers and an attempt to meddle in the activities of the executive arm of government.
He thereafter asked the minister to proceed with the execution of the programme and to ensure it is conducted “strictly according to existing laws”.
He also asked the director-general of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to halt any alternative plan on the programme with the national assembly committee.
Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), has also written to the national assembly asking it to stay within the limit of its statutory responsibilities, Naija News understands.
President Buhari had approved the recruitment of 774,000 Nigerians (1,000 from each local government) for the Special Public Works programme in the country as part of efforts to cushion the economic effects of the global coronavirus pandemic on citizens.
Each of the successful persons is expected to be paid the sum of N20,000 for the three months duration of the scheme.
They are expected to carry out public services such as street sweeping, waste disposal, etc.
It will be recalled that Keyamo had earlier vowed not to allow politicians hijack the recruitment process. He said rather than allow them to hijack the process, he would resign his position as a Minister of the federal republic of Nigeria.
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.