Abia lawmaker faults FG’s move to employ 774,000 ad-hoc staff
Representative of Arochukwu/Ohafia federal constituency of Abia State in the House of Representatives, Uko Nkole, has faulted Federal Government’s move to recruit 1,000 persons from each of the 774 council areas of the country on provisional basis.
He also supported the lawmakers for inviting the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, on the recruitment of the 774,000 persons, saying doing so is part of their constitutional oversight functions.
Nkole, who reacted to the move at the weekend, argued that the exercise meant to gulp N42b would not mitigate unemployment in the country, since it was an ad-hoc arrangement.
He recalled that this was one of government’s initiatives to rejig the economy through provision of jobs to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nkole, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), argued that since 2015, the country’s budgetary system had not followed any known acceptable international approved standard and practices.
“Since the 774,000 jobs are not permanent jobs, they will not achieve any meaningful purpose. It is more worrisome since government wants to spend N43b for a programme that is meant to run for about three months, after which those engaged would be sent back to the labour market,” he said.
He added that the right thing would have been to deploy the N43b to employ the 774,000 persons in the proposed 1,000 per council on permanent basis through the Federal Civil Service Commission and not on an ad-hoc arrangement.
“Alternatively, the money could be deployed to fund capital projects, especially road construction. Capital projects can create the needed job opportunities. For example, while fixing a road, locals will be employed and others people make money along the value chain.
“The 500,000 beneficiaries of the N-power programme have been disengaged and sent back into the labour market. This back and forth arrangement will fail as it has failed before.”
“Why not use the N43b to engage unemployed youths on a sustainable basis and be certain that any number employed will be meaningfully engaged for at least 35 years or on attainment of 60 years of service which ever comes first,” he added.
Nkole described the allegation that National Assembly members were asking for 15 per cent of the job allocations as a ruse, stressing that the lawmakers were only discharging their constitutional responsibilities.
He also explained that their face-off with Keyamo, was only in the course of discharging their oversight functions.
“If the minister feels we are acting otherwise, the right thing would have been to go to court. It is out of place for him to dictate to us how we should do our job,” he said.
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