The one-time Minister for the Federal Capital Territory, and the current Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, has added his voice to the myriads of Nigerians lending their support for the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo SAN in his fight against the Senate of Nigeria regarding the control of the 774000 Special Public Work programme and the States’ committees which have already been commissioned by Keyamo who is also the supervising Minister for the National Directorate of Employment, NDE. “Minister Festus Keyamo is a dedicated patriot. A good man whose directions, decisions and actions are guided by public interest and concern for the voiceless. That is why President Muhammadu Buhari loves him like a son! Remain steadfast my brother.” el-Rufai said yesterday, 12th July, 2020.
The Senate insisted that the Committees set up in the states by Keyamo were not accepted by them, saying that they must have control over the selection of the members of the Committees.
The Senate through its president, informed that if the Ministry of Labour and Employment does not cooperate with them in that regard, they will stall the progress of the 1000 jobs per Local Government Area Special Public Work programme.
We had reported that Festus Keyamo SAN raised alarm that politicians are scheming to hijack the Special Public Work programme and pledged that he will not give in to their schemes. Read here for full details of his allegations.
Minister Keyamo was accompanied by the honourable minister for Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, to the Senate for an interface with the leaders of the Senate for peace. In the meeting, Dr Ngige tendered an apology to the Senate, saying that there was need for all stakeholders to work in unison for the success of the Special Public Work programme and other programme. However, the Senate president appeared unyielding and in strong terms reiterate that the Senate will not accept any control of the Special Public Work programme if it is not done by the senate members or the NDE who have enough span of office to accommodate a task of such enormity.
This is in response to the Minister of State saying that the Senate does not have the constitutional rights to stop the progress of the 1000 jobs per Local Government Area programme. Click here to view our article on his reasons.
Mr Keyamo during and after that meeting however, was adamant that the steps taken so far are in line with the directives of the President Muhammadu Buhari, who mandated him. Despite the threats from the Senate president, he said he will stick to all that he has said. He also said that he is backed by law, saying that he will allow himself to be intimidated. Click here to see our article on this.
Malam el-Rufai is the first high-profile public figure to openly support Keyamo in his confrontation with the Senate leaders. The minister responded by saying “Thank you, your Excellency. This is really encouraging!”