By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – It was a theatre of the Absurd on the National Assembly Tuesday because the Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, exchanged sizzling phrases with Senators and members of House of Representatives over the National Directorate of Employment recruitment train.
It was first an interactive session between the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo and the Joint Committee of the National Assembly on Labour.
However, the assembly ended dramatically because the Minister engaged lawmakers in a shouting bout.
Trouble began when the National Assembly Committee requested that the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Nasiru Ladan communicate on the composition of a 20 man Committee inaugurated on Monday by the Ministry for the implementation of the deliberate employment of Nigerians within the Special Public Works Programme 2020
There was additionally quagmire when Ladan couldn’t defend the N52bn budgeted for the recruitments of 774,000 Nigerians underneath the NDE.
The lawmakers had been nonetheless not glad with Ladan’s clarification which to them confirmed that he was not answerable for the programme.
Meanwhile, midway into his clarification and after disclosing that he was conscious of solely eight members of the committee, Ladan then referred the lawmakers to hunt additional clarification from the Minister.
The National Assembly had within the 2020 finances appropriated the sum of N52 billion for the Special Public Works Programme for the employment of 774,000 residents, a thousand from every of the 774 Local Government Areas within the nation.
READ ALSO: 774,000 jobs: I received’t succumb to politicians’ blackmail ― Keyamo vows
At this level, Keyamo stated that his ministry was requested to oversee the recruitments by President Muhammadu Buhari.
When the federal lawmaker disagreed with Keyamo, the shouting spree ensued.
At this level, Keyamo snapped; violently hitting on the desk nearly instantly the lawmakers threw the query, accusing him of hi-jacking the programme from the NDE and alleging acute lopsidedness in the complete programme.
The drama then intensified when the lawmakers requested that the cameras ought to excuse them for an govt session with the Minister.
Keyamo rejected the duvet; insisting that having been brazenly accused and disgraced, the cameras ought to stay within the room, simply as his outburst infuriated the lawmakers who requested that he ought to apologise for his behaviour.
At this level, Keyamo felt he was being armed twisted by the lawmakers in opposition to the backdrop that he was denied the chance to reply to their allegations.
Keyamo who vehemently refused to apologize to the lawmakers careworn that he had performed nothing flawed; threatening to stroll out of the assembly.
The Minister’s assertion additional ignited hassle with the lawmakers shouting again at him to go if he needed.
When he refused to apologize, the lawmakers reached a decision asking Keyamo to depart.
Speaking with Journalists, Keyamo who accused the lawmakers of making an attempt to take management of the recruitment Exercise underneath his ministry, stated that whereas he was not antagonistic to them investigating the programme; they can’t direct him on what to do, including that doing so will imply sharing within the powers of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Keyamo, regardless of granting the lawmakers 15% of the job placement; they nonetheless need to hijack the complete programme; taking on the facility of the President within the course of.