The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the 774,000 special public works programme of the federal government.
The lower chamber has mandated its committees on labour, appropriation, poverty alleviation and other relevant committees to probe the implementation of the scheme.
This resolution was the outcome of a motion moved by Gudaje Kazaure (APC, Jigawa), on Wednesday, during plenary.
The scheme stirred controversy between the Minister of Labour and Productivity (State), Festus Keyamo, and the members of the National Assembly in 2020.
About N52 billion was allocated for the Special Public Works Programme in the 2020 budget. It is aimed at employing 774,000 citizens, about 1000 from each of the 774 local government areas in the country
Mr Keyamo had accused the National Assembly of trying to highjack the programme. This led to a clash between the lawmakers and Mr Keyamo.
The power tussle over the scheme led to the sack of Nasiru Ladan as the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment. The two chambers had in separate resolutions called for the suspension of the scheme. However, the executive did not comply with the resolution.
In his motion, Mr Gudaje said the government is yet to implement the programme despite the launch by President Muhammadu Buhari in October 2020.
He said the empowerment scheme, though a temporary initiative, has the capacity to address unemployment in Nigeria.
He asked the House to mandate the committee on appropriations to allocate money to the scheme and asked the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Students Affairs, Nasir Adhama, to brief the House on the matter.
However, Adekunle Isiaka (APC, Ogun) moved an amendment that the committees should be mandated to investigate the issue before any action could be taken.
When the motion was put to question by the presiding officer, Idris Wase (APC, Plateau), it was unanimously taken.
The submission by Mr Gudaje that the special work programme has not commenced is at variance with the claim by Mr Keyamo on the scheme.
In June 2021, Mr Keyamo said the government had paid N25 billion to 400,000 beneficiaries.
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