As part of efforts to cushion the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari approved the employment of 774,000 workers a few months ago.
Under the program, Nigerian unskilled workers will earn N20, 000(equivalent of $52) each a month for three months.
According to The Punch, 1,000 workers are expected to be recruited from each of the 774 local government areas of the country.
But the program ran into a hitch last month when the National Assembly and Keyamo disagreed over who should handle the recruitment, Punch Newspaper reported.
The Nigerian Senators had insisted that the program should be handled by the National Directorate of Employment.
But following the President’s intervention, the crisis was resolved. Two weeks ago, the Chairman of the Extended Special Public Work Selection Committee in Rivers State, Dr Innocent Barikor, was quoted to have said that the minister had directed that every governor should be given 40 slots in each local government area, while each senator and House of Representatives member would enjoy 30 slots in their various council areas.
Spokesperson for the Senate, Dr Ajibola Basiru, in an interview with The PUNCH, described as false, a claim by the Minister of State for Employment, Labour and Productivity, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), that each member of the National Assembly was given 30 slots in the ongoing nationwide public works recruitment.
As the Senate condemned Keyamo, the Ogun State Chairman of Special Public Works, Senator Gbenga Obadara, in an interview with The PUNCH, revealed that four doctoral and 200 Master’s degree holders were among applicants in the state.
While answering a question from one of the interviewers, Senator Gbenga Obadara said;
“Four PhD and 200 master’s degree holders have applied.”
“Poverty is ravaging. Unemployment is extremely on the high rise. People with master’s degrees and even PhD degrees are applying for 20,000 jobs. That is the problem. It cannot cover everybody. We cannot blame the Federal Government.” he added.
Obadara said the committee started distribution of forms four weeks ago and that almost 20,000 persons from 20 local government areas had obtained the forms.