…says ‘don’t abuse your positions’
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, warned political appointees and other government officials against using their positions to confer undue advantage on applicants for government jobs.
He said using their offices for undue advantages and other favours was “antithetical to the character of the administration.”
Recall that lawmakers at the National Assembly had, on Tuesday, walked out the Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, from the venue of an investigative hearing over the 774,000 jobs offer of the Federal Government after a spat.
The programme seeks to employ about 774, 000 youths for three months and they would be engaged in unskilled jobs such as sweeping streets, clearing drainages, controlling traffic and road construction among others.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, conveyed Buhari’s position in a statement made available to reporters in Abuja on Wednesday.
The minister said, “The President’s repeated warning followed persistent reports of fraudsters using the business cards and purported referral letters from presidential aides and other government officials to solicit employment, contract and other favours.”
Mohammed said Ministries, Departments and Agencies should disregard any purported request from government officials aiming to confer undue advantage on anyone seeking such favours.
He said the Buhari administration had established a systematic and disciplined approach to ensure the smooth running of government in all areas, including employment and contract procurement.
“This system should be allowed to work for all Nigerians without interference”, he said.
Keyamo was on Tuesday walked from the NASS following his refusal to apologise after the legislators accused him of raising his voice against them.
The incident happened during an investigative hearing organised by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Employment, Labour, and Productivity.
The minister had earlier been asked by the lawmakers to explain the modalities he had adopted to carry out the recruitment process and why he was not carrying the NDE along.
He explained that an Act that established the NDE gave his ministry powers to oversee the affairs and programmes of the agency.
But trouble started when the minister said he had inaugurated a 20-member committee to implement the recruitment process and that the committee had started work.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labour, Employment, and Productivity, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, asked why the NDE was not being carried along in the process.
Keyamo said the Director-General of the NDE, Nasiru Ladan, is a member of the committee but when asked to defend himself, the NDE boss said the minister was in a better position to answer all questions relating to the N52 billion budgeted for the recruitments of 774,000 Nigerians under the NDE.