Tag Archives: #Keyamo

Selection Process of 774,000 Jobs is Not SUSPENDED – Keyamo

Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Honourable Minister of State Labour and Employment, in a Press Release made available on 30th June, 2020, said: “Purported suspension of selection PROCESS of 774,000 jobs by National Assembly Committees: All states’ selection committees should proceed with their work unhindered.”

The full statement is provided below:

Today, in obedience to their invitation, I appeared before the Joint Committees on Labour of both the Senate and the House. The Distinguished Senators and Honourable Members sought to be briefed on the implementation of the Special Public Works Programme so far.

However, there was a misunderstanding between us when they questioned why I did not privately submit the program to them for vetting before taking certain steps. They suggested that they ought to have an input on how the programme should be implemented. In other words, they sought to control the programme as to who gets what, where and how.

However, I insisted that I could not surrender the programme to their control since their powers under the constitution does not extend to that. They insisted on a closed door session.

At this point, I remarked that it was only fair for me to respond to their position before the press, since their own position was also made public. In any case, I remarked that the Nigerian people deserve to know the details of the execution of this all-important programme.

I was then asked to apologize for insisting on a public interaction and I said there was nothing to apologize about, because their powers to expose corruption provided for in section 88 of the Constitution cannot be exercised in private. As such, there was no need to apologize by insisting on a Constitutional provision. Even their Rules that may provide for private hearings on public matters cannot override the provisions of the Constitution. I was then permitted to leave. I took a bow and left. I NEVER walked out on the respected Committees as they may want to bend the narrative.

After I left, I understand that the Joint Committees purportedly suspended the work of the Selection Committees nationwide until they decide how the programme should be run and who should be in those Committees. My opinion is that it is tantamount to challenging the powers of Mr. President.

I regret to say that their powers under section 88 of the 1999 Constitution is only limited to investigations, but NOT TO GIVE ANY DIRECTIVE TO THE EXECUTIVE.

A Committee or Committees of both Houses do not even have powers to pass binding Resolutions. They can only make recommendations to Plenary. In this case, even Plenary CANNOT give DIRECTIVES to the Executive.

All my life, I have fought for good governance and constitutional democracy. I will not come into government and be intimidated to abandon those principles. I will rather leave this assignment, if Mr. President so directs than compromise the jobs meant for ordinary Nigerians who have no Godfathers or who are not affiliated to any political party.

I therefore, respectfully further direct all the Committees set up nationwide made up of CAN, NSCIA, NURTW, Market Women, CSOS, Youth Organisations, respected traditional rulers, etc to proceed with their work unhindered. Only Mr. President can stop their work.

Thank you.

FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb(UK)
Hon. Minister of State.

DIALOGUE: Keyamo Versus The National Assembly

Recently, the Federal Government embarked in another social investment program through the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, in which the sum of N52 Billion is set aside for the engagement of youths from the 774 Local Government Areas of the Federation. And the aim of the program is to employ 1000 persons from each Local Government.

Its from the background of the program that the following Dialogue ensued between the State Minister for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN) and the National Assembly:

National Assembly: How come that a Federal Government programme expected to gulp N52 Billion is being shrouded in secrecy?

Hon. Minister Keyamo: It is not shrouded in secrecy. Representatives of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), youth groups and market women are all on the selection Committee.

National Assembly: We won’t accept this from you. You should have privately submitted the program to us for vetting before taking certain steps. That would have enabled us have an input on how the programme should be implemented.

Hon. Minister Keyamo: No! Your powers under the constitution do not extend to that. You cannot control the program as to who gets what. That’s the function of the executive arm of government. Anything to the contrary will be tantamount to challenging the executive powers of Mr. President.

National Assembly: You’re always speaking big grammar. Wetin! Okay, come let’s go behind closed doors and conclude the meeting.

Hon. Minister Keyamo: No, sorry! I’m not ready to do anything in secret. You’ve already publicly questioned my actions. Let me also defend myself publicly.

National Assembly: You are disrespecting the authority of the National Assembly. Are you to tell us how to conduct the business of the National Assembly? We insist you come with us to the secret room.

Hon. Minister Keyamo: I’m sorry I won’t go to any closed-door meeting with you. You have already raised some fundamental issues before the media. The media also needs to know how it is addressed. We are in a democracy.

National Assembly: Then you can leave our premises, if you are not ready to discuss in secret with us.

Hon. Minister Keyamo: Why are you asking me to leave? If we are truly fighting corruption, then all our actions should be open to public scrutiny.

National Assembly: What do you know about corruption? Are you to teach us about the war against corruption? Look, if you are not ready to go into a closed-door meeting with us, you can as well pack your things and leave.

Hon. Minister Keyamo: Yes, I’ll rather uphold the provisions of the constitution and leave your premises, than have a secret collusion with you. Goodbye.

National Assembly: Really? You think you’re smart, right? Okay, we shall see!

Hahaha! My people how una see this one? You castigate a man in public and the man wants to defend himself. But you suddenly say, no! His defense must be in secret. If you wanted a secret deal with him, why did you have to first impugn his capacity and integrity in public? Haba!

From anonymous source.