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Keyamo in Crossfire of Words With NASS Members Over N52bn

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Keyamo

On Tuesday, Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, exchanged words with members of the National Assembly (NASS) over the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) recruitment exercise.

The argument started when the Director-General of the NDE, Mr. Nasiru Ladan, could not defend the N52 billion budgeted for the recruitment of 774,000 Nigerians under the NDE.

The minister said his ministry was asked to supervise the recruitments by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd). But the federal lawmakers disagreed with Keyamo.

As the rowdy session ensued, the committee decided to go into a closed-door session to discuss the matter, but the minister refused, insisting that the further discussions be held in the presence of journalists.

This enraged the lawmakers who told Keyamo to apologise to the committee, but he ignored them.

Thereafter, the minister was asked to leave the meeting since he has refused to apologise to the committee members.

The lawmakers claimed that Keyamo has no right to direct the committee on how to conduct its proceedings.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, approved the engagement of 774, 000 Nigerians on a Special Public Works programme in the country to help reduce the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, announced this at a press conference on fiscal stimulus measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday in Abuja.

She disclosed that 1, 000 people would be recruited from each of the 774 local government areas in the country.

Ahmed explained that N60 billion had been earmarked from the COVID-19 crisis intervention fund as allowances and operational costs for the initiative.

“ Buhari has now approved that this programme be extended to all 36 States and the FCT from October to December 2020, and the selected time-frame was to ensure that it was implemented after the planting season.

“The Federal Ministry of Finance is evaluating to see best ways to extend the Special Public Works Programme, to provide stipends for workers to undertake Roads Rehabilitation and Social Housing Construction and also Urban and Rural Sanitation, Health Extension and other critical services.

“This intervention will be undertaken in conjunction with the key federal ministries responsible for Agriculture, Environment, Health, and Infrastructure and states to financially empower individuals who lost their jobs due to the economic crisis,” She added.

She disclosed that President Buhari had previously approved a pilot special public works programme in eight states to be implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

She added that Buhari had now approved that this programme be extended to all 36 States and the FCT from October to December 2020 and the selected time-frame was to ensure that it was implemented after the planting season.

“The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is also evaluating how best to extend the Special Public Works Programme, to provide modest stipends for itinerant workers to undertake Roads Rehabilitation and Social Housing Construction.

They will also be involved in Urban and Rural Sanitation, Health Extension and other critical services.

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