The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), has warned political appointees and other government officials against using their positions to bestow undue advantage on anyone seeking government jobs.
According to him, using their positions for undue advantages and other favours was “antithetical to the character of the administration.”
THE PUNCH reported that members of the National Assembly had walked out the Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, during an investigative hearing over the 774,000 jobs offer of the Federal Government.
The programme seeks to employ about 774, 000 youths for three months and they would be engaged in unskilled jobs such as sweeping streets, clearing drainages, controlling traffic and road construction among others.
The Federal Government had also appointed members of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Mutiu Are; the daughter of APC national leader and Iyaloja-General, Folasade Tinubu-Ojo; and the Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Lagos State, Musiliu Akinsanya aka MC Oluomo into the 20-member committee that will undertake the recruitment of 20,000 youths in Lagos.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, conveyed Buhari’s position in a statement sent to journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said, “The President’s repeated warning followed persistent reports of fraudsters using the business cards and purported referral letters from presidential aides and other government officials to solicit employment, contract and other favours.”
Mohammed told Ministries, Departments and Agencies to disregard any purported request from government officials aiming to confer undue advantage on anyone seeking such favours.
He said Buhari’s regime has put in place a systematic and disciplined approach to ensure that the government runs smoothly for all Nigerians, whether in the area of employment or contract procurement.
“This system should be allowed to work for all Nigerians without interference”, the Minister stated.
Keyamo was on Tuesday walked out following his refusal to apologise after the legislators accused him of raising his voice against them.
The incident happened during 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.