Senate President Ahmed Lawan, on Tuesday, said all previous actions carried out on the planned recruitment of 774,000 persons for the Special Public Works Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria were null and void.
He spoke in Abuja while receiving a government’s delegation led by the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Chris Ngige, who apologised over the last Tuesday’s disagreement the Minister of State for Labour Festus Keyamo had with members of National Assembly joint committees on Labour over the membership of the 20-man selection committee for the programme.
The lawmakers had asked the government to halt the programme pending when it was properly briefed on implementation modalities.
The Senate president told the delegation on Tuesday that “Your job is to supervise the NDE.
“We’ve the mandate to perform oversight.
“We stand by our committee, they were right to ask those questions.
“All previous actions taken before now are null and void.
“You need to go and start afresh.
“You’ll have our support if the ministry does not go into it.”
No project without my approval – Keyamo
Keyamo, who was among the delegation, did not speak during the meeting, but while addressing reporters later insisted that the project could not be implemented without his approval.
“With the provision of the law, I don’t know how they’re going to go about that.
“I have to go back to my principal, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to give directives.
“By provision of section 2 (3) of the NDE Act, I’m the chairman of the board of the NDE.
“So, when you say NDE should go back and bring their plan, it’ll come back to me because I’m still the chairman of the NDE.
“The president also specifically instructed me by memo in May this year for me to go and supervise the preparation and execution of this project.
“How can you supervise the preparation and execution of the project without your final approval?
“The final approval lies on my table.”
During the meeting, Ngige apologized to the National Assembly, saying Keyamo’s position was not sacrosanct.
He said: “We deeply regret the incident that happened at the last visit, the altercations that followed it between my Minister of State and members of the joint committees.
“Therefore, we decided that as a team, we’ll come in force and give you the necessary information you’ll need so that we can fast track this programme.
“My minister of state has put out a position paper, that position paper, nothing is sacrosanct there.
“We can still discuss and agree after disagreeing.”