774,000 Jobs: Labour Minister, Ngige Apologises To National Assembly

The Minister of Labour, Productivity and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has apologised to the National Assembly over the recent face-off between the Minister of State For Labour, Festus Keyamo and the joint Senate and House Committees on Labour, Productivity and Employment.

The Minister tendered an apology on Tuesday when he led a delegation from the Ministry on a visit to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, at the National Assembly, Abuja.

“We deeply regret the incident that happened, the altercation that followed it, between my Minister of State and members of the Joint Committee,” Ngige was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the spokesman to the Senate President, Ezrel Tabiowo.

The Minister noted that his visit was to give the lawmakers the necessary information needed to fast-track the Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government.

Ngige also called for a good working relationship between the legislative and executive arms of government on the programme which he said was designed from the office of the President before the COVID-19.

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“Having visited your domain to the Joint Committee on Labour, Productivity and Employment over some issues of the Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government, a programme that was designed by the Executive with the legislature, if the Executive makes a proposal and it is not funded, then that proposal will be dead on the table.

“Therefore, we decided that as a team, we would come with full force and give the necessary information that we need so that we can fast track this Programme which was designed from the office of the President before the COVID-19.

“We must work together without acrimony or even drawing a very rigid line of who has this power and who doesn’t. That is the only way the programmes of government can be made sustainable and executed for the benefit of our people.

“In the Seventh Senate, the National Assembly didn’t have a rancorous relationship with the Executive of Ebele Jonathan, even though some of us were in the opposition parties,” he said.

774,000 Jobs: Lawmakers Not Empowered To Give Directives To Executive, Says Keyamo

The Minister of State for Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo

 

The Minister of State for Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo, has taken a swipe at the members of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Labour over a fracas that ensued on Tuesday.

In a statement he personally signed shortly after the disagreement, Keyamo insisted that the lawmakers were not empowered by the nation’s Constitution to dictate to the executive arm of government.

“I regret to say that their powers under section 88 of the 1999 Constitution is only limited to investigations, but NOT TO GIVE ANY DIRECTIVE TO THE EXECUTIVE.

“A Committee or Committees of both Houses do not even have powers to pass binding Resolutions.  They can only make recommendations to Plenary. In this case, even Plenary CANNOT give DIRECTIVES to the Executive,” he said.

Reacting to the purported suspension of the 774,000 jobs to be issued to Nigerians by the Federal Government, Keyamo knocked the lawmakers.

According to him, the misunderstanding arose when the lawmakers questioned why he did not privately submit the special public works programme to them for vetting.

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The Minister described it as tantamount to challenging the powers of the president.

“They suggested that they ought to have an in-put on how the programme should be im-plemented.  In other words, they sought to control the programme as to who gets what, where and how.

“After I left, I understand that the Joint Committees purportedly suspended the work of the Selection Committees nationwide until they decide how the programme should be run and who should be in those Committees. My opinion is that it is tantamount to challenging the powers of Mr. President,” he said.

The lawmakers had invited Keyamo to give details of the Special Public Works Programme where 774,000 people would be recruited by the Federal Government under the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

Members of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Labour sought to find out the method of selection of a 20-man committee from each state for the programme.