The National Assembly has ‘ordered’ a stop to the recruitment of 774,000 Nigerians under the Public Works Programme.
According to the legislators, they want further explanations on the modalities for the exercise.
It also mandated its Committees on Labour and Employment to immediately invite the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, and any other relevant officials of the ministry to brief the joint committee on the modalities for the implementation of the engagement of 774,000 persons for public works – in line with its constitutional oversight function.
The lawmakers disclosed their stance through a joint statement by the spokespersons of the Senate and House of Representatives, Ajibola Basiru and Benjamin Kalu.
This comes a day after an altercation between members of the joint committee and the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, over recruitments under the programme.
But the lawmakers said their directive was because the National Assembly was concerned about “the proper and effective implementation of the engagement of 774,000 public workers and wishes to restate its commitment to its success.”
“The National Assembly reminds members of the public that the legislature was part of the conception of the programme, approved it and appropriated funds for its implementation as part of the COVID-19 response strategy.
“… 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.
“The National Assembly will ensure transparency of the process just as done with the National Social Register by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and social Development,” part of the statement read. The statement, however, did not state a time and date for the minister to appear before the committee.