By our reporter| The Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday took a swipe at the members of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Labour over a fracas that ensued when he appeared before them earlier in the day.
In a statement he personally signed shortly after the the lawmakers walked him out of their chamber following a disagreement over the modalities for the proposed 774 jobs to be created by the federal government, Keyamo insisted that the lawmakers were not empowered by the nation’s Constitution to dictate to the executive arm of government.
Keyamo said, “I regret to say that their powers under section 88 of the 1999 Constitution is only limited to investigations, but NOT TO GIVE ANY DIRECTIVE TO THE EXECUTIVE.
“A Committee or Committees of both Houses do not even have powers to pass binding Resolutions. They can only make recommendations to Plenary. In this case, even Plenary CANNOT give DIRECTIVES to the Executive.”
Reacting to the purported suspension of the 774,000 jobs to be issued to Nigerians by the Federal Government, Keyamo knocked the lawmakers.
According to him, the misunderstanding arose when the lawmakers questioned why he did not privately submit the special public works programme to them for vetting.
The Minister described it as tantamount to challenging the powers of the president.
“They suggested that they ought to have an in-put on how the programme should be im-plemented. In other words, they sought to control the programme as to who gets what, where and how.
“After I left, I understand that the Joint Committees purportedly suspended the work of the Selection Committees nationwide until they decide how the programme should be run and who should be in those Committees. My opinion is that it is tantamount to challenging the powers of Mr. President,” he said.
The lawmakers had invited Keyamo to give details of the Special Public Works Programme where 774,000 people would be recruited by the Federal Government under the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
Members of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Labour sought to find out the method of selection of a 20-man committee from each state for the programme.