The Peoples Democratic Party faction of the House of Representatives has rejected the 30 slots allotted to each member of the House per local government they represent in the federal government’s 774,000 public jobs scheme.
The leader of minority caucus, Ndudi Elumelu, said on Tuesday that the allocation of “30 out of the 1000 slots per local government is grossly unfair and unacceptable.”
According to him, each lawmaker in the lower House is to supervise 30 beneficiaries per local government areas they represent, but the arrangement is not a true representation of the people they represent.
Depending on the population and size of the state, each member of the House represents between one to four local government areas.
Mr Elumelu’s caucus asked for more transparency and a review of the criteria used for the allotment as it favours “certain interests in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).”
Billed to flag off inOctober, the programme, during its formative stage, pitted the members of the National Assembly against the ministry of labour.
The lawmakers downplayed this, saying the scheme was not transparent, and insisted that the control of the programme be taken away from the minister and handed over to the National Directorate of Employment.
Mr Elumelu noted that the continuity of the programme without tending to the objections raised by the lawmakers would have a toll on their constituents who look up to the lawmakers for social and economic empowerment.
“As the representatives of the people, we are closer to them and they directly interact with us, irrespective of religion, class and political affiliations,” his statement read.
“Moreover, the questions are, what criteria is being used in the job allotments? Given the 30 persons out of the 1000 per local government area allotted to federal lawmakers, what happens to the remaining 970?
“What answers do we give Nigerians? How do we ensure that the program benefited Nigerians and not enmeshed in allegations of sharp practices as witnessed in the COVID-19 palliative distribution?”
In the same vein, the minority leader of the Senate, Enyinanya Abaribe, told ThisDay that the federal legislators will reject the various slots already allocated to them in their respective senatorial districts and constituencies.
He added that this was because of their “earlier reservations about the lack of transparency in the programme where a minister has hijacked the programme for his own purposes.”
“The Senate of the National Assembly agreed that it will not participate in the programme as vehemently promoted without due process by Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo.”
In response, Mr Keyamo said the rejection of the slots by the lawmakers was irrelevant since their constituents would be the eventual beneficiaries of the initiative, ThisDay reported.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...