Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige on Thursday said he will not take over the supervision of recruitment for 774,000 Nigerians into the Special Public Works programme, as directed by the National Assembly.
This is just as the Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Nasir Ladan, refused to comment on whether the agency was going ahead with an alternative plan to implement the recruitment.
When our reporter called agency chief on Wednesday, Ladan said: “I don’t want to speak to the press on this, please.”
Ngige said the NDE, as a government agency, is supervised by the Office of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, headed by Festus Keyamo (SAN).
He said: “…We have delegated the NDE to him. I have had three ministers of states and they all managed the NDE. It is in their schedule.”
On Tuesday, both chambers of the National Assembly called for the removal of Keyamo from supervising the recruitment.
The Senate and the House of Representatives, at their separate sessions, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop Keyamo from supervising the recruitment.
Despite objection by the National Assembly, Keyamo, on July 14, said he had got presidential approval to supervise the recruitment in accordance with the law.
Also, Lagos State has inaugurated a 20-man selection committee to recruit 20,000 persons from the 20 local government areas of the state for the programme.
Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Mutiu Are, spoke on Thursday with The Nation at the state office of the NDE during the inauguration.
He said: “The selection committee members comprise a representative from Lagos State government, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Muslim community, National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), market women, persons with disabilities, youth organisations and respected traditional rulers as part of this process to accomplish the desired results.”
“Our primary assignment is to identify and select 20,000 people from Lagos State, which is 1,000 per local govt. The way we are doing it is to take the jobs back to the local government areas.”
The Nasarawa State office of the programme on Thursday began recruitment of street hawkers and artisans for the 774,000 jobs.
Chairman of the state office of the programme, Kasim Mohammed Kasim, led officials of the programme for the recruitment in Akwanga, Nasarawa Eggon and Lafia local government areas.
Addressing reporters after the recruitment in Gudi, Nasarawa Eggon and Lafia towns, Kasim said two persons were arrested in Akwanga Local Government Area for selling fake recruitment forms of the programme to unsuspecting members of the public.
He also pledged to follow Keyamo’s instructions and ensure that politicians do not hijack the recruitment.