Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan
By Raphael Ekpang
The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, has said that the National Assembly has confidence in the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) to recruit 774,000 youths across Nigeria for the 774, 000 Local Government jobs.
Senator Lawan who was emphatic on the high level of confidence the NASS has on NDE reiterated the suspension of the programme, saying that the Ministry of Labour and Productivity and NDE must first explain the modalities for the recruitment process.
He made this known during an interactive session with members of the Senate Press Corps on Monday in Abuja.
“I am very confident that the NDE has the capacity to handle the recruitment of the 774, 000 youths for the LG jobs, therefore, I see no reason why the supervisory ministry should hijack it.
“Only NDE will implement this programme. The NDE led by the ministry of labour will have to come and explain,” Lawan said.
Nevertheless, the Senate President also vowed that no appointee of the President will be allowed to dent the cordial working relationship between the two arms of government.
It would be recalled that lawmakers and Minister of state for Labour and Productivity Festus Keyamo recently disagreed over recruitment of 774,000 Public Works Programme, under the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
The Senate President who emphasised the importance of cordial working relationship of the various arms of government, adding that the National Assembly is the stabilizer of the nation’s democracy.
“It is not correct that when you work in harmony you surrender your power. The National Assembly will continue to insist on oversight.
“So long as we can appropriate funds, which is one of our major mandates provided by the constitution, we are equally empowered by the same constitution to oversight how such projects are implemented and executed; how the processes and procedures are established, designed and implemented.”
He said NASS approved N52 billion for the 774,000 public works jobs, (1,000 per local government), indicating the support of the legislature for the programme to be executed by the NDE and not for the supervisory ministry to hijack.
“We represent the people of this country. We went round to campaign in different parts. The National Assembly is a mini Nigeria. We know what our people want, we know what they need and we will do only those things that in our judgement and in the information we gather, will make life better for Nigerians,” he concluded.