A meeting between members of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Labour and the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo has ended in rowdy manner following drama that ensued during the session.
Kayamo had appeared before the joint committee to brief the lawmakers on the Federal Government’s Special Public Works Programme designed to employ 1,000 persons from each of the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the federation.
The employment initiative was created to employ 1,000 unskilled persons per local government area on a short term engagement for a period of three months.
Those recruited by the Federal Government under the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) would be paid a stipend of N20,000 monthly.
The minister had on Monday inaugurated a 20-man committee in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), who would monitor the initiative.
The committee is being chaired by the Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Nasir Ladan Argungu and supervised by Keyamo.
During the briefing which held at the National Assembly in Abuja, members of the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Committee on Labour sought to find out the method of selection of the 20-man committee.
This however sparked a heated argument between committee members and Keyamo, who disagreed with the lawmakers on the mode of scrutinising the employment scheme.
He said his ministry was asked to supervise recruitments by the President Muhammadu Buhari but the lawmakers disagreed with Keyamo.
This led to a rowdy session, causing the committee to decide on a closed-door session to discuss the matter, but Keyamo refused, insisting that further discussions be held in the presence of journalists.
The enraged lawmakers accused the minister of trying to dictate proceedings to them and demanded an apology.
Keyamo refused to apologize, then the minister was asked to leave the meeting for refusing to apologise to the committee members.
The minister left the investigative hearing and told journalists that the grouse of the lawmakers was because he did not allow them to ‘own the process.’
In a swift reaction, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity, Godiya Akwashiki, denied the allegations levelled against them by Keyamo.
He accused Keyamo of allegedly trying to build a political structure around the employment of 1,000 youths in each of the 774 Local Government Areas.
Watch video of the session below;