National Assembly suspends 774,000 public works recruitment scheme

The National Assembly has suspended the 774,000 public works recruitment scheme on Wednesday.

At an executive session, the Senate debated the Tuesday clash between the National Assembly Joint Committee on Labour and Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo (SAN), during which the lawmakers expressed anger about what they described as a display of executive rascality.

Consequently, the Senate announced that the two chambers of the National Assembly had ordered that the implementation of the 774,000 public works programme should be put on hold until the legislature is properly briefed.

Rising from the emergency executive session, the Senate also announced that the two chambers of the National Assembly had reached the conclusion to ensure that there is transparency in the entire recruitment process.

In a joint statement signed by the spokesmen of the Senate and House of Representatives, Ajibola Basiru and Benjamin Kalu, it was pointed out that the National Assembly is part of the conception of the programme.

Rejecting the claim that the powers of President Buhari were being encroached upon, the lawmakers declared: “If the president believes that his powers are being encroached, he can approach the court of law.”

The lawmakers lamented that the impression had been given that the programme was an exclusive preserve of the presidency

“The conception of the programme, its approval and its funding is with the consent of the National Assembly because we believe it is going to be beneficial for the purpose of addressing the challenges of COVID-19.

According to the National Assembly, the totality of the three arms is what constitutes government and it cannot be left to the whims of a person or a branch of a government.

The lawmakers further pointed out that “when the government is doing a programme, it is not President Buhari that is doing the programme, it is the government of the people. We are asking about how these 1000 people per local government area are generated, who set up the selection committee, what are the modalities for recruitment?”

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, has waded into the face-off with a view to amicably resolving the contentious issues.

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