NASS members send Festus Keyamo out of investigative hearing

Federal lawmakers, on Tuesday, walked out the Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, following his refusal to apologise 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.

Keyamo was asked by the lawmakers to explain the modalities he had adopted to carry out the recruitment process and why he was not carrying out the NDE along.

The minister explained that an Act that established the NDE gave his ministry powers to oversee the affairs and programmes of the agency.

Trouble started when the minister said he had inaugurated a 20-member committee to implement the recruitment process and that the committee had started work.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labour, Employment, and Productivity, Mr. Godiya Akwashiki, asked why NDE was not being carried along in the process.

Keyamo said the Director-General of the NDE, Nasiru Ladan, is a member of the committee but when asked to defend himself, the NDE boss said the minister was in a better position to answer all questions relating to the N52 billion budgeted for the recruitments of 774,000 Nigerians under the NDE

The Minister said his ministry was asked to supervise the recruitments by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The federal lawmakers disagreed with Keyamo and the shouting spree ensued.

The lawmakers called for a closed session to resolve their differences but Keyamo insisted that journalists must witness the proceeding.

The legislators accused Kayamo of trying to dictate proceedings to them and demanded an apology.

The refusal by Keyamo to apologise forced the lawmakers to walk him out after another round of shouting match that lasted 30 minutes.

Keyamo left the investigative hearing and told journalists that the grouse of the lawmakers was because he didn’t allow them to own the process.

He also said they wanted more than the 15 per cent job slots allocated to them.

But in a swift reaction, Akwashiki, who presided over the joint National Assembly panel, denied the two allegations levelled against them by Keyamo.

Rather, he accused Keyamo of allegedly trying to build a political structure of 1, 000 youths in each of the 774 local government areas across the country with the 774,000 jobs without the involvement of the NDE.

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