Reps vow to halt funding for FG’s 774,000 jobs scheme - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Reps vow to halt funding for FG’s 774,000 jobs scheme

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By Our Correspondent


The house of representatives has again asked the federal government to suspend the special works scheme which seeks to create 774,000 jobs.

At plenary session on Tuesday, the green chamber also asked the ministry of finance, budget and national planning not to fund the programme scheduled to kick off in January 2021.

They also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to reinstate Nasiru Argungu, director-general of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the agency in charge of the programme.

The lawmakers, who have been at loggerheads with the federal government over the scheme, faulted the manner in which the 774,000 beneficiaries will be employed.

In July, alongside the senate, the lower legislative chamber suspended the programme after alleging they had been sidelined.

They had insisted the programme will remain suspended until the federal government explained all grey areas and the modalities for the recruitment.

They had also sought to be actively involved in the recruitment of the beneficiaries, a move which Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, had opposed.

Despite the earlier suspension, Keyamo got the president’s approval to go ahead with the scheme which N52 billion was reportedly appropriated for in the 2020 budget.

It was billed to kick off in November but the controversies over the mode of recruitment for beneficiaries delayed its commencement.

As the showdown continued, the president suspended Argungu who was rumoured to have sided with the lawmakers in the controversy.

But while considering a motion on the matter on Tuesday, the lawmakers asked the president to reinstate Argungu and also resolved to halt funding for the scheme until all pending issues are resolved.