An interactive session between the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo and the Joint Committee of the National Assembly on Labour on Tuesday ended on a dramatic note as the Minister engaged the lawmakers in a shouting match.
Trouble started when the Committee asked the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Nasiru Ladan to give explanation on the composition of a 20-man Committee inaugurated on Monday by the Ministry for implemention of the planned employment of Nigerians in the Special Public Works Programme 2020.
Half way into his explanation and after disclosing that he was aware of only 8 members of the committee, Ladan referred the lawmakers to seek further clarification from the Minister.
The lawmakers were not satisfied with Ladan’s explanation which to them showed that he was not in control of the programmme.
The National Assembly had in the 2020 Budget appropriated the sum of N52 billion for the Special Public Works Programme aimed at employing 774,000 citizens with a thousand from each of the 774 local government areas in the country.
Keyamo snapped; violently hitting at the table almost as soon as lawmakers threw the question; accusing him of hi-jacking the programme from the NDE and alleging acute lopsidedness in the entire programme.
The drama intensified when the lawmakers asked that the cameras should excuse them for an executive session with the Minister. Keyamo rejected and insisted that having been openly accused and disgraced; the cameras should remain in the room in the process of scanning for infractions in the programme.