The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus of the House of Representatives, has concluded that the 774,000 public works scheme introduced by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government was politically motivated, and unsustainable.
The caucus which vowed to employ legal actions in order to address what it described as encroachment of statutory functions, and fundamental human rights, has also unequivocally rejected and dissociated itself from the planned public works scheme.
Expressing its position in an August 23 dated statement by its leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda on Thursday, the caucus strongly directed its members to ignore the letters reportedly written to Senators and House of Representatives members by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and State Coordinators of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) on behalf of the Minister of State (Labour and Employment), Mr. Festus Kyamo, asking for nomination of 30 and 25 individuals respectively from each Local Government Area in their constituencies.
Minority caucus of the House, had last week through its leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu rejected the 30 slots offered each member of the House.
“The Caucus considers this correspondence – a condemnable attempt to bribe and hoodwink the institution of the National Assembly into complicity in the misapplication of Nigeria’s scarce resources for the implementation of a questionable, misguided, absurd and arguably unlawful scheme that alarmingly intends to expend N52 Billion under the guise of ‘creating employment’ for only three months.
“This regrettably is the most unsustainable employment scheme implemented by any government.
“While the caucus espouses the eradication of poverty and the creation of gainful and sustainable employment for the burgeoning population of unemployed Nigerians under this administration, it flies in the face of reason and common sense why this government insists on expending enormous resources for the implementation of a politically motivated transient programme, dubiously shrouded as “employment” having no empowering or enduring benefit to ordinary Nigerians…”, the statement read in part.
According to the caucus, there are several viable and veritable job and wealth creating alternatives existing for application of such funds.
“Elementary division of the approved programme’s budget of N52billion by 774 LGAs in Nigeria implies an expenditure of N67.184 million (about $150,000) in each LGA of Nigeria, which if applied judiciously and transparently will suffice for the establishment of a viable industry in each LGA”, it said.