NASS Wants To Dictate Who Gets What in FG Programme, Keyamo Cries Out

 

 

Ayo Kehinde

Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, SAN

 

 

Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, SAN, has brushed aside the suspension slammed by the National Assembly investigating Committee on the selection process of 774,0000 Nigerians across the 774 Local Governments in a Federal Government special public works programme.

In a statement on Tuesday after an argument with the lawmakers led to his sudden departure from the meeting, Keyamo said the selection would continue and ordered all state selection committees to continue with their work.

He said the purported suspension of the 774,000 jobs by the National Assembly committees, was “an attempt by the NASS members to control who got what, where and how.”

According to him, “ there was a misunderstanding between us when they questioned why I did not privately submit the program to them for vetting before taking certain steps. They suggested that they ought to have an input on how the programme should be implemented. In other words, they sought to control the programme as to who gets what, where and how.

“At this point, I remarked that it was only fair for me to respond to their position before the press, since their own position was also made public. In any case, I remarked that the Nigerian people deserve to know the details of the execution of this all-important programme.

He said he insisted on public hearing rather than the closed -door meeting suggested by the lawmakers because that would amount to surrendering the programme to their control, which he said is unconstitutional.

“Then they asked me to apologize for insisting on a public interaction and I said there was nothing to apologize about, because their powers to expose corruption provided for in section 88 of the Constitution cannot be exercised in private. As such, there was no need to apologize by insisting on a Constitutional provision. Even their Rules that may provide for private hearings on public matters cannot override the provisions of the Constitution. I was then permitted to leave. I took a bow and left. I NEVER walked out on the respected Committees as they may want to bend the narrative.

“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.

“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.

“I therefore, respectfully further direct all the Committees set up nationwide made up of CAN, NSCIA, NURTW, Market Women, CSOS, Youth Organisations, respected traditional rulers, etc to proceed with their work unhindered. Only Mr. President can stop their work,” he said.

 

Ayo Kehinde

Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, SAN, has brushed aside the suspension slammed by the National Assembly investigating Committee on the selection process of 774,0000 Nigerians across the 774 Local Governments in a Federal Government special public works programme.

In a statement on Tuesday after an argument with the lawmakers led to his sudden departure from the meeting, Keyamo said the selection would continue and ordered all state selection committees to continue with their work.

He said the purported suspension of the 774,000 jobs by the National Assembly committees, was “an attempt by the NASS members to control who got what, where and how.”

According to him, “ there was a misunderstanding between us when they questioned why I did not privately submit the program to them for vetting before taking certain steps. They suggested that they ought to have an input on how the programme should be implemented. In other words, they sought to control the programme as to who gets what, where and how.

“At this point, I remarked that it was only fair for me to respond to their position before the press, since their own position was also made public. In any case, I remarked that the Nigerian people deserve to know the details of the execution of this all-important programme.

He said he insisted on public hearing rather than the closed -door meeting suggested by the lawmakers because that would amount to surrendering the programme to their control, which he said is unconstitutional.

“Then they asked me to apologize for insisting on a public interaction and I said there was nothing to apologize about, because their powers to expose corruption provided for in section 88 of the Constitution cannot be exercised in private. As such, there was no need to apologize by insisting on a Constitutional provision. Even their Rules that may provide for private hearings on public matters cannot override the provisions of the Constitution. I was then permitted to leave. I took a bow and left. I NEVER walked out on the respected Committees as they may want to bend the narrative.

“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.

“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.

“I therefore, respectfully further direct all the Committees set up nationwide made up of CAN, NSCIA, NURTW, Market Women, CSOS, Youth Organisations, respected traditional rulers, etc to proceed with their work unhindered. Only Mr. President can stop their work,” he said.

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