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774,000 jobs: NASS suspends recruitment exercise

The National Assembly on Wednesday announced the suspension of the Special Public Works programme under the National Directorate of Employment to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

The President Muhammadu Buhari, had approved the engagement of 774, 000 Nigerians under the scheme.

By the arrangement, 1, 000 Nigerians who would earn N20,000 each on a monthly basis for three months are expected to be recruited in each of the 774 local government areas, of the country.

The programme was expected to take off in October this year.

But the nation’s parliament on Wednesday said the programme has been suspended following the disagreement between it and the Minister of State for Employment, Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday.

The spokesperson for the Senate, Ajibola Basiru, who announced the suspension of the programme at a press conference in Abuja, said the National Assembly has summoned the Minister in charge of the Ministry to appear before the federal legislature, to explain the recruitment modalities.

He said, “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.”

It will be recalled that the federal lawmakers on Tuesday, walked out the Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, following his refusal to apologise after the legislators accused him of raising his voice against them.

Keyamo who had appeared at an interactive session organized by the joint committee opposed a resolution of the Joint Committee to resolve into a closed door session.

The Minister said he rejected the lawmakers decision to quiz him behind closed doors because of the need to ensure transparency and accountability.

Members of the joint panel had summoned the Minister and the Director General of the National Directorate of Employment, Mr. Nasiru Ladan Argungu, to brief them on steps so far taken to recruit 774, 000 across the country.

During the closed session which lasted for about two hours, the lawmakers expressed shock at the behaviour of Keyamo and his insurance that the National Assembly cannot direct him on what to do concerning the recruitment.

The argument that ensued afterwards, led to a shouting match between both parties which later cascaded to the forceful exit of Keyamo from the meeting.

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