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774,000 jobs: Senate holds closed session, National Assembly to meet Buhari

Sunday Aborisade, Abuja

Members of the Senate on Wednesday asked the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to hold a meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on the recruitment of 774,000 Public Works Programme workers.

The senators passed the resolution at the end of a two-hour heated debate behind closed doors on the issue on Wednesday.

The National Assembly had suspended the project penultimate week following a disagreement between its committee on Labour and the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Kayamo.

The federal lawmakers had accused Keyamo of hijacking the recruitment from the National Directorate of Employment, which got  N52bn approval to carry out the programme.

Keyamo had, however, told journalists on Tuesday that the President had asked him to proceed with the recruitment, notwithstanding the position of the National Assembly on the issue.

The Senate President, on resumption of plenary on Wednesday, called for a closed-door session to discuss the development.

Neither the Senate President, nor the spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Ajibola Basiru, disclosed details of the lawmakers deliberation to journalists after the meeting.

Several attempts to speak with Basiru either in his office or on phone were not successful.

A principal officer, however, told our correspondent on conditions of anonymity on Wednesday that the Senate had resolved not to make an official comment on the issue until Lawan and Gbajabiamila had met with Buhari.

The ranking senator said, “We have asked the leadership of the National Assembly to meet with the President on the matter.

“We really want to know what is actually happening because we still don’t have any information from the Presidency on the issue.

“The National Assembly will issue a statement after the meeting between the President and our leadership.”

Source: punchng.com