The National Assembly on Wednesday stopped the implementation of the 774,000 public works workers until the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, appears before the lawmakers for proper briefing.
The Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Festus Keryamo, on Tuesday engaged in a shouting match with the lawmakers over the implementation of the recruitment process.
However, addressing journalists after the conclusion of a closed door session, which lasted for one hour, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Basiru Ajibola, said implementation of the 774,000 public works should be put on hold until modalities are explained to National Assembly.
Ajibola in statement he jointly signed with the spokesman of House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, claimed that the National Assembly has the power to put the programme on hold until the proper explanation is given on its implementation.
The statement reads: “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 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.”