Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Minister of State for Labour, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), has secured the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to begin the recruitment of 774, 000 youths under the Special Public Works Programme.
A source at the ministry confirmed to THISDAY that Keyamo had received a go-ahead from the president to proceed with the execution of the programme, despite the objection by the National Assembly.
The lawmakers had accused the minister of trying to hijack the scheme from the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the implementing agency of the project.
However, Keyamo insisted that it was the lawmakers that wanted to hijack the programme and vowed to resist the move.
The minister, 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 lawmakers 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.