The National Assembly has announced the suspension of the Special Public Works programme under the National Directorate of Employment to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
The position of both chambers of the National Assembly followed a disagreement between the National Assembly Joint Committee on Labour, Employee and Productivity and the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday.
Keyamo, who had appeared at an interactive session organised by the joint committee, opposed a resolution of the committee to resolve into a closed door session.
In a joint statement signed by spokespersons for both chambers of the National Assembly, Senator Ajibola Basiru and Hon. Benjamin O. Kalu, the lawmakers also invited the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, for explanations.
The lawmakers said that it was within their constitutional right as representatives of the people to know the process of public workers engagement by the government.
The statement reads, “Implementation of the 774,000 public works to be put on hold until implementation modalities explained to NASS.
“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.”