The Minister of State Labour, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has secured the approval of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to begin the recruitment of 774, 000 youths under the Special Public Works Programme.
Keyamo confirmed that the President had directed him to continue with the exercise which was earlier suspended by the National Assembly following a disagreement with the minister.
The minister in a text message to our correspondent on Tuesday said, “I have the instructions of my boss, Mr President, to proceed with the supervision of the preparation for the execution of the programme in accordance with the law.”
The lawmakers had accused the Minister of trying to hijack the scheme from the National Directorate of Employment, the implementing agency of the project.
But Keyamo, who appeared before members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Labour on June 30, accused them of seeking to control the implementation of the programme.
The meeting ended in a fiasco when the minister insisted that the parley should be held in the open to the consternation of the NASS members who demanded a closed-door meeting.
Keyamo consequently left in annoyance vowing not to suspend the recruitment as directed by the lawmakers.
He argued that the lawmakers had no power to give directives to the executive under section 88 of the 1999 constitution.
He stated, “I only insisted on the provision of the constitution; I insist that they have no power under section 88 of the 1999 constitution. Their powers under section 88 of the 1999 Constitution is only limited to investigations, but not to give any directive to the executive.”
Findings indicate that the SPWG portal, https://specialpublicworks.gov.ng/site/ is now live. It contains the list of state selection committee members inaugurated by the minister a few weeks ago and other tips on the exercise.