The National Assembly on Wednesday announced the suspension of the Special Public Works programme under the National Directorate of Employment to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, had approved the engagement of 774, 000 Nigerians under the scheme.
By the arrangement, 1, 000 Nigerians who would earn N20,000 each on a monthly basis for three months are expected to be recruited in each of the 774 local government areas, of the country.
The programme was expected to take off in October this year.
But the nation’s parliament on Wednesday said the programme has been suspended following the disagreement between it and the Minister of State for Employment, Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday.
The spokesperson for the Senate, Ajibola Basiru, who announced the suspension of the programme at a press conference in Abuja, said the National Assembly has summoned the Minister in charge of the Ministry to appear before the federal legislature, to explain the recruitment modalities.
He said, “In view of the foregoing, the implementation of the programme shall be on hold pending proper briefing of the National Assembly by the Minister of Labour and Productivity.”
It was earlier reported that the federal lawmakers on Tuesday, walked Keyamo out of a hearing following his refusal to apologize after the legislators accused him of raising his voice against them.
The incident happened at an investigative hearing organised by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity.
Members of the joint panel had summoned the Minister and NDE Director-General, Nasiru Argungu, to brief them on steps so far taken to recruit 774,000 personnel across the country.
Trouble started when lawmakers queried Keyamo for allegedly undertaking lopsided recruitment without the active involvement of the NDE, the agency that got N52bn approval from the National Assembly to implement the programme.
The argument that ensued afterwards, led to a shouting match between both parties which later degenerated to the forceful exit of Keyamo from the meeting.