The National Assembly has summoned the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, to provide it with details of modalities for the implementation of the federal government’s planned 774,000 public work intervention programme.
The same subject matter on Tuesday, generated discord between the Minister of State (Labour), Festus Keyamo, and members of the committees of labour of both chambers of the National Assembly.
However, in a joint statement issued on Wednesday by spokesperson of the Senate, Senator Ajibola Basiru, and that of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, the National Assembly insisted that the programme be put on hold until it has been properly briefed.
“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.
“In accordance with the constitutional imperative of oversight, the Legislature being important stakeholders in the democratic process, and elected representatives of the people, needed to be appraised of modalities for implementation for effective feedback to our constituents and in ensuring that our constituents optimally participate in and benefit from the process.
“In view of the foregoing, the implementation of the programme shall be on hold pending proper briefing of the National Assembly by the Minister of Labour and Productivity.
“The National Assembly will ensure transparency of the process just as done with the National Social Register by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and social Development,” the joint statement read.