Nigeria’s junior parliament has asked the federal government to shelve the proposed flag-off of its Special Public Works Programme, billed to commence on January 5, 2021.
The green chamber in its resolutions during plenary on Tuesday, urged the finance ministry to halt the disbursement of N52 billion earmarked for the programme in the 2020 fiscal plan.
This followed a motion by Olajide Olatunbosun (APC-Oyo) who queried why the names of many Nigerians were excluded from the list of beneficiaries released by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
The House also criticised the recent sacking of Mohammed Ladan Argungu as director-general of the NDE by President Muhammadu Buhari, while demanding a reversal of his removal.
Minister of State for Labour Festus Keyamo has had a running battle with both arms of the country’s federal legislature over controversies surrounding the control of the scheme, which targets the creation of 774,000 jobs across the country.
Mr. Argungu, the ousted NDE DG, was widely believed to have thrown his weight behind the parliament in the raging controversy.
The House committees on labour and productivity and legislative compliance were mandated to follow through on the resolutions to ensure compliance, while reporting to the lower chamber next week.
It remains unclear whether the Buhari administration would stick with the new schedule for implementation of the scheme, sequel to the new development.
Previously announced dates had been cancelled on two occasions.
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