The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, during the plenary of today 21st July 2020, resolved that they appreciate the advice of the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to the effect that both the Executive and Legislative arms of Government must work in unison for the success of the Special Public Work programme. They however, also resolved that the ₦52billion approved by the National Assembly in the 2020 budget is for the sake of the National Directorate of Employment NDE, and “must be implemented accordingly”. They also accepted the fact that the Ministry of Labour has a supervisory role in the process of the programme. They however, warned that they will take up their own oversight functions of the NDE, ad stipulated by the Constitution.
A motion to the effect of the issue of the Special Public Work programme was raised by the senator representing Ekiti, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele. The senate resolved that:
- They commend the President for emphasising harmonious relationship between the Executive and Legislative arms.
- That the N52billion allocated in the Revised 2020 Budget for the Special Work Program is vested in the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and must be implemented accordingly while acknowledging the supervisory role of the Ministry of Labour.
- That the National Assembly executes its oversight functions on NDE in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution(as amended), and other enabling laws.
We had reported that the president advised that the National Assembly be committed to common good of all Nigerians and work with Executive to ensure smooth progress in all programmes geared towards the good of the entire population of Nigeria, while asking all ministers and appointees to respect the National Assembly and its leaders.
The advice came on the back of confrontations between Festus Keyamo and the leaders of the Senate, and between the NDDC Management and the National Assembly.
Keyamo had insisted that he will continue the programme as scheduled, but the Senate had asked that all recruitment activities be voided and that its Committee be consulted first.
It is not clear if Keyamo, the supervising Minister for the NDE, has liaised with the Committee.