President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, declared on Monday that the National Directorate of Employment will be fully in charge of the exercise designed to recruit 774,000 youths across Nigeria as part of the Federal Government COVID-19 palliative measures.
He, however, said that the NDE and the Ministry Labour and Productivity must first explain the modalities for the recruitment process.
Lawan stated this during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja.
He said, “Only NDE will implement this programme. The NDE led by the ministry of labour will have to come and explain.
“It will be unfair to say that we in the legislature and executive are not on the same page because of an action by someone in the executive.
“What the National Assembly is insisting on is in national interest.”
The National Assembly had last week asked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to suspend the programme, following a face-off between one of his ministers and the joint panel of the two chambers of the federal parliament.
It will be recalled that the federal lawmakers last Tuesday, walked out the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, following his refusal to apologise after the legislators accused him of raising his voice against them.
The incident happened at an investigative hearing organised by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity.
Members of the joint panel had summoned the Minister and the Director General of the National Directorate of Employment, Mr. Nasiru Ladan Argungu, to brief them on steps so far taken to recruit 774, 000 across the country.
Keyamo had told the panel how he had set up a 20-member committee in each state to midwife the programme.
Trouble started when lawmakers queried Keyamo for allegedly engaging in lopsided recruitment without the active involvement of the National Directorate of Employment, the agency that got N52bn approval from the National Assembly to implement the programme.
The argument that ensued afterwards, led to a shouting match between both parties which later forced the lawmakers to drive Keyamo out of the meeting.