National Assembly has suspended the implementation of the Special Public Works programme under the National Directorate of Employment aimed at cushioning the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the engagement of 774, 000 Nigerians under the scheme.
Under the scheme, 1, 000 Nigerians, who would earn N20,000 each on a monthly basis for three months, are expected to be recruited in each of the 774 local government areas of the country.
The programme was scheduled to take off in October this year.
Senate and House of Representatives, however, said on Wednesday that the programme had been suspended following the disagreement between them and the Minister of State for Employment, Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday.
Announcing the programme’s suspension, Senate spokesperson, Ajibola Basiru, said at a press conference in Abuja that the National Assembly had summoned the Minister in charge of the Ministry to appear before the federal legislature, to explain the modalities for recruitment modalities.
“In view of the foregoing, the implementation of the programme shall be on hold pending proper briefing of the National Assembly by the Minister of Labour and Productivity,” Basiru said.
Recall that the NASS members, on Tuesday, ordered Keyamo out of a hearing for refusing 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 NDE Director-General, Nasiru Argungu, to brief them on steps so far taken to recruit 774,000 personnel across the country.
But trouble started when lawmakers queried Keyamo for allegedly undertaking lopsided recruitment without the active involvement of the NDE, the agency that got N52bn approval from the National Assembly to implement the programme.
The argument that ensued afterwards resulted in a shouting match between both parties, which culminated in the lawmakers ordering him to leave the meeting.