*Insists SPW program must benefit Nigerians
*Invites Ngige for briefing
In the wake of Tuesday’s face – off between the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo and the members of the National Assembly’s Joint Committee on Labour and Employment, the federal legislature has declared that the recruitment of the 774,000 workers must be put on hold until implementation modalities are explained to the lawmakers.
Also, the assembly insisted that the Special Public Works (SPW) must benefit Nigerians.
The position of the National Assembly was stated in a statement Wednesday jointly signed by spokespersons of both chambers, Senator (Dr.) Ajibola Basiru (Senate) and Hon. Benjamin O. Kalu (House of Representatives).
The statement reads in part: “The National Assembly is concerned about the proper and effective implementation of the engagement of 774,000 Public Works workers and wishes to restate its commitment to its success.
“Accordingly, 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.
“The National Assembly, in line with its constitutional oversight function, has mandated its Committees on Labour and Productivity to immediately invite the Hon. Minister for Labour and Productivity and any other relevant officials of the Ministry to appear before the joint committee to brief it on the modality for the implementation of the engagement of 774,000 persons for public works.
“In accordance with the constitutional imperative of oversight, the Legislature being important stakeholders in the democratic process, and elected representatives of the people, needed to be appraised of modalities for implementation for effective feedback to our constituents and in ensuring that our constituents optimally participate in and benefit from the process.
“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 statement assured that 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.