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Ministerial screening: Keyamo scales Senate’s hurdle after apology

A former Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo has apologised to the Senate for disrespecting the National Assembly ove...

A former Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has apologised to the Senate for disrespecting the National Assembly over the implementation of the 774,000 special public works implemented in the last administration.

The Senate had witnessed a rowdy session after the Senate Minority Whip, Darlington Nwokocha, raised issues against Keyamo, a ministerial nominee from Delta State, when he appeared for screening.

Nwokocha had accused Keyamo of disrespecting the 9th National Assembly and accusing the last Assembly of being corrupt when he was summoned to give explanation on the implementation of the special works.

N52 billion was allocated for the scheme which was coordinated by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) under the supervision of the minister of state for labour and employment.

The programme was targeted at employing 1,000 unskilled youths in each of the 774 LGAs for three months.

The beneficiaries were expected to engage in public service works and receive a monthly stipend of N20,000 for three months.

Nwokocha drew the attention of the Senate to how Keyamo ignored the Senate when he was asked to give explanation on the implementation of the programme.

He therefore moved a motion that the Senate suspend the screening of Keyamo.
His motion was seconded by Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia-South).

Akpabio thereafter subjected the motion to a voice vote but the legislators were divided on the matter.

He endorsed the point of order from Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele asking the red chamber to go into closed-door session to resolve the issue.

Speaking after the Senate resumed from closed session, Keyamo said: “I apologise and the apology is without reservation.”

He said the entire register of the “beneficiaries of the special public works and their details, including their account number and BVNs are with the NDE.”

Senator Godiya Akwashiki (SDP Nasarawa) urged his colleagues to accept Keyamo’s apology.

Senator Ali Ndume therefore moved a motion that the Senate do accept apology and allow him to take the leave of the Senate.

Ndume’s motion was seconded by Senator Barinada Mpigi (PDP, Rivers).
Akpabio therefore asked the nominee to take a bow and go.

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