Let them scream!
On June 30, there was a heated discussion between the Minister of State for Employment, Labor and Productivity, Festus Keyamo, and the Joint Committee of the National Assembly on Labor and Employment. Keyamo had honored the invitation of the Joint Committee to explain the selection procedures for the employment of 774,000 young people for the Special Public Works program, under the National Employment Directorate (NDE).
His deliberations turned into what many called a screaming fight when the Joint Committee asked Keyamo why he did not submit the program in particular for verification before taking certain steps.
Keyamo had said: “They suggested that they should have an opinion on how the program should be implemented. In other words, they sought to control the program over who receives what, where and how. However, I insisted that I could not resign from the program under his control, since his powers under the constitution do not extend to that. "
It may be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari on April 6 approved the employment of 1,000 young people from 774 local government areas across the country, reaching 774,000. The program, which has an allocation of N52 billion in the 2020 budget, is scheduled to run from October to December 2020. The young people selected would engage in public works to earn a monthly salary of N20,000 for the entire duration of the program.
But, responding on July 1, Senate spokesman Ajibola Basiru announced the suspension of the program. He said: "In view of the above, the implementation of the program will be on hold, awaiting the due report from the National Assembly by the Minister of Labor and Productivity".
Basiru also advised Buhari to contact the courts if he is not satisfied with his decision. He said: "If the president realizes that his power is being invaded, he can contact the court."
He further argued that the program was not an exclusive presidential program. "It cannot be left to the whims of a person or branch of a government, it must be a totality of the government that is the Executive and the Legislative," he insisted.
The 9th Assembly, led by Lawan, had, overtime, the stamp of a rubber stamp legislature with minimal or nonexistent checks on the programs and policies of the Buhari government. Although Keyamo's fight with lawmakers was unexpected, it demonstrates the desired existence of checks and balances between the executive and legislative branches of our government.
However, it is important that both parties quickly resolve their differences for the benefit of unemployed Nigerians looking for a means of survival.
Although the public "struggle" is good for the health of our democracy, it is also important to remind the administration led by Buhari that a sustainable response to the unemployment challenge must be pursued.
There should be no right to brag about a job scheme that would take most of the 774,000 beneficiaries back to job lines after just three months.
NASS MEMORY ROUTE
"It's very unfortunate when people say that we don't want to fight corruption. The fight against corruption starts and ends with an individual? Isn't it?"
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
Lawan denies N-Power's moves
Senate President Ahmad Lawan last week expressly distanced himself from media reports, claiming that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management had allocated N-Power recruitment slots for him and other lawmakers.
He prayed that the public would ignore the false and deliberately damaging reports, describing them as baseless and frivolous. In a statement by his special media consultant, Ola Awoniyi, Lawan said:
“We wish to emphasize that neither the President of the Senate nor this office has anything to do with the alleged spaces maliciously credited for publication to the President of the Senate.
"We firmly reiterate that the story in question is malicious and should be disregarded."
Lawan's denial is understandable. It does not help your image to associate yourself with clan or nepotist tendencies.
Whatever the facts, Lawan and other public officials must learn to be altruistic at all times and ensure that a level playing field is guaranteed for all Nigerians seeking access to opportunities.
The Senate president must therefore go beyond his denial to encourage fellow senators to help build a culture of healthy competition within the public space.
In addition to this movement on cancer
The House of Representatives, on July 2, made a move to combat the scourge of cancer that causes the death of hundreds of Nigerians every year.
To achieve this, the Chamber encouraged the Nigerian government to facilitate the establishment of comprehensive independent cancer centers in each of the country's six geopolitical zones.
He made this move following the adoption of the motion: "Need to address the incidence of cancer mortality in Nigeria", sponsored by Hon. Samuel Adejare, who urged the Federal Ministry of Health to partner with the Medical Association of Nigeria (NMA) and other relevant stakeholders and development partners to take advantage of a multisectoral effort to improve cancer treatment in Nigeria.
Adejare noted thus: "The Chamber is concerned that, following the current trend, cancer is rapidly becoming a national epidemic and a serious health emergency, with dire consequences if no urgent and effective intervention is instituted."
On February 4, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, during a lecture held in Abuja to commemorate World Cancer Day 2020, announced that: “According to Nigeria's National Cancer Prevention and Control Plan ( 2018-2022), cancer is responsible for 72,000 deaths in Nigeria every year, with an estimated 102,000 new cancer cases annually. "
The scourge of cancer is real and cannot be overemphasized. Does Adejare's motion go beyond a mere desire to become a Law of Parliament?
The existence of only eight functional radiotherapy machines for cancer treatment and palliation in Nigeria is no match for World Health Organization (WHO) standards of having at least 180 machines for more than 180 million people. The gap becomes even more evident in view of the low number of specialized personnel needed, such as gynecologists, radiotherapists and pathologists for the treatment of cancer in the country.
These facts are frightening. And they emphasize the need for the Nigerian government to agree on its responsibilities and address the loopholes identified.
Answer: Bukola Saraki
The statement was made by former Senate President Bukola Saraki. He made the statement in 2017 while participating in the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) forum in Abuja. And that was after he led the screening that saw the rejection of the now suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
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