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Minister, NASS Fight Dirty over Job Recruitment into special public works

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Minister, NASS Fight Dirty over Job Recruitment into special public works

The minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo and the Joint Committee of the National Assembly on Labour, Tuesday engaged in a shouting match over modalities for recruitment of the 774, 000 Nigerians into the Special Public Works in the Rural Areas .

The war of words lasted for about 30 minutes as tempers flared on both sides.

The committee later matching order for the Minister leave the interactive session over his refusal to tender apology as demanded.

The Minister accused the lawmakers after storming out of the session, of wanting to hijack the program.

Trouble started between members of the joint committee led by Senator Godiya Akwashiki ( APC Nasarawa North) and the Minister, when after making presentations on modalities for recruitments in to the program did not capture the interests of the federal lawmakers

The Minister had in his submissions  before the committee on modalities for recruitment of 1,000 youths per each of the 744 local government councils in Nigeria, listed  Christian Association of Nigeria ( CAN), Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs ( SCIA), National Union of Road Transport Workers ( NURTW) and Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU).
Others are Market women Association , Traditional Rulers, Youth organisations and civil society organisations who were considered as pressure groups to be used as channels of recruitment at the grassroots.
The exclusion of the lawmakers did not go down well with with them.

Hence one of the lawmakers, Senator Betty Apiafi ( PDP Rivers South), pointedly, asked the Minister to explain to the committee how performance indicators would be determined since they as representatives of the people are excluded from the recruitment process.
The Minister in his response said since the program will take off in October this year, all the channels of recruitments to be decided upon by 20-man committee per each state, would serve as mechanism for the performance indicators .

Angered by the response, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Godiya Akwashiki picked holes in the submission of the  Minister and that of Director General of National Directorate of Employment ( NDE) Nasir Ladan Argungun .

According to him, while the Minister mentioned 20 groups to be used as channels for the recruitment, the NDE  DG, said he was only aware of 8, meaning that the ministry is hijacking the N52billion program from NDE originally saddled with the responsibility, going by Appropriation made in the 2020 budget .
He there after solicited for the session to go into closed door, which was vehemently kicked against by the Minister who said, ” I came here for open session and not closed session”.

When told that he cannot dictate to them on how the session would be carried out, Kayamo banged the table by shouting that he won’t go into any closed door session with anybody and that he can not be accused in the open and be made to make explanations secretly .

Irked by the Minister’s outburs, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe moved a motion that the Minister should apologise for engaging the committee over rule of proceedings .

Oloriegbe’s motion which was adopted by the committee, however worsened the situation when he was asked to tender apology by the committee Chairman, to which he resisted as he felt he had not committed any offence or made any derogatory statement against the lawmakers.

At that point, almost every member of the committee stood up in the shouting match, go ! go! go !, to the Minister if he cannot apologise .
The Committee chairman, Godiya Akwashiki, by way of resolution told the Minister that based on the decision taken by the committee, if he cannot apologise, he should leave.
The minister then stormed out of the session angrily

Speaking to journalists after his unceremonious exit, Keyamo said: What  they did not allow me to say inside? I will say outside. Today’s invitation for me to come here was for an interactive session I came here.

“The inter-ministerial committee recommended 20 man committee and we approved it. Meanwhile they are comfortable with the eight which are clearly stated like Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Jammatu Nasir Islam (JNI) and others.

“The others are youth organisations and we cannot list youth organisations because from state to state there are different youth organisations depending on the peculiarity of the state .

“The background to this was that a couple of days ago. They started mounting pressure on me that I must bring the list of those to select the 1000 persons from all the local government to them for them to direct me as to what to do from state to state.

“The chairman insisted I must come to them privately for them to hand over to me certain instructions as to how this program will be across the country.

“I said no that would be sharing the powers of the President and that I can only be answerable for what I have done by virtue of the provisions of the Constitution.

“They can only investigate the programme , that cannot direct it “.

However, the federal lawmakers refuted the allegation levelled against them by the Minister as explained by Senator Akwashiki in his damage control speech .

He said : “As a national Assembly our main duty is to check the executive arm of government body the appropriation Act that allows for spending federation account has said that this money should be spent by the National Directorate if employment under the ministry.

“After all that has been said we asked him to apologise to the committee because we have the rules of proceeding here and that we are all in agreement that if he does not apologise to us he can excuse himself or we suspend this programme of the Federal government upon which he left .

“We invited the two ministers – the senior minister and the junior minister – the Director General of the National Directorate of Employment and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Labour and Employment to come and brief us – a joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives – on what is happening regarding to the Special Works under NDE.

“Before we started, we asked the Director General NDE and the Minister to brief us on the pilot selected states which is about eight that the President selected because it is because that programme succeeded that gave Mr President interest or attention to say that the entire country – that is 1000 per the 774 Local Governments should be recruited.

“Come back to the N52 billion approved under NDE, we now asked the Minister of State because the senior minister is not here, that he should explain to us how far they have gone because read on the pages of newspapers this morning that a 20-man Selection Committee from each state was inaugurated yesterday and that they have are chairman and vice chairman and that the State Coordinator of the NDE is the Secretary. We only read that on the pages of newspapers this morning.

“We asked him to brief us how he came about that Committee. He now said it was a tripartite Committee set up by Mr President that comprised of eight Ministries but we disagreed with him on that because we are lawmakers and we try to work always within the ambit of the law for the implementation of whatever we have for the Nigerian people.

We said that this money (N52billion) has been approved under NDE. It is even in the budget. So for him to say it is eight ministries that are involved in this we disagreed with him.

“Thank God that the the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health is here. There is another money under COVID-19 intervention that has been channelled to the Ministry for Health.

“So we said that is not the issue. How did he come about 20-man selection Committee? Because if you did not get it right with the selection committee, I want to tell you that this programme is going to be a failure.

“Nobody is requesting for any slot from him and he cannot blackmail us “.

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Senator Gaya grieves over Hajia Fanta’s demise

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Senator Gaya grieves over Hajia Fanta’s demise

The Senator representing Kano South Senatorial District, Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya (APC), has expressed deep sorrow over the death of Hajiya Fatima Mohammed (Fanta).
Hajia Muhammed is the younger sister of late head of state, General Sani Abacha and the mother of Senator Basheer Mohammed (Lado), a federal commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Senator Gaya in his message of condolence, expressed deep sorrow and sympathies with the bereaved family and entire Kano people over the death.
The former Kano State governor described the late Fatima as a philanthropist, a mother and a community leader that touched the lives of many in different ways over times.
He said that the late Fatima has died at a time that her wisdom is most needed in the global epidemic ravaged time and other challenges in the country.
Senator Gaya enjoined Senator Basheer to take solace in the Almighty Allah at this trying times, adding that death is a garment of all mortals, explaining that all will taste it when the time is due.
The former Kano State governor explained that the late Fatima lived an exemplary life that has impacted on all that was closed to her in her life time.

The Kano South Senator further calls on the family and entire Kano people to pray for the repose of the soul of late mother, Kano State and Nigeria at large for peace and development at the unending threat of insecurity in the country. He prayed Almighty Allah to grant the late philanthropist AljanatulFirdausi.

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Kogi first lady commends husband on gender sensitivity

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Kogi first lady commends husband on gender sensitivity

By Aisha Audu

Wife of Kogi State governor, Mrs Rashida has commended her husband, Alh Yahaya Bello for being the most gender sensitive governor in Nigeria.
Mrs. Bello made the statement on the occasion of conferment of an award of ” the most gender sensitive governor in Nigeria and as a goodwill ambassador of Nigerian women” to Governor Yahaya Bello by the national council of women societies (NCWS) at glass house Lokoja.
According to her (NCWS) is a reputable umbrella body of notable women of integrity, from across Nigeria and the choice of my husband for this award is very well deserved.
She said she is not surprised because her husband right from the inception of his administration has demonstrated strong commitment towards active involvement and participation of women in leadership positions, governance as well as politics.
She noted that under the administration of her husband, key government positions such as SSG, Head of service, Kogi pension Board, Teaching Service Commission, Vice chairmen of the 21 Local government of the state as well as female councillors among others.
Mrs. Rashida Bello indicated that Governor Bello has maintained a clear lead in the implementation of the 35 percent women affirmative action policy of the Federal Government.
She saluted the courage of the leadership and members of National Council of Women societies while praying that their courageous efforts continue to uplift the voices and standard of women across the country.

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Spare Old Okene Sec. School, Alumni Association begs Bello

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Spare Old Okene Sec. School, Alumni Association begs Bello

By Friday Idachaba

The Okene Secondary School Old Students Association has appealed to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to spare the school as one of the legacy colleges of old Northern Nigerian Government rather than cede it to the military for use as Barracks.

The Alumni association made the appeal in a statement issued by its national President, Abubakar Abdulsalam to newsmen on Thursday in Lokoja.

The association said the school, formerly known as Okene Teachers College before it transmuted to a secondary school in 1970 had produced a lot of great Nigerians in all fields of human endeavour.

“There is no doubt that the institution has produced a lot of alumni and former employees, who are doing it proud in several areas both at home and abroad” the statement said.

“One of such was the late Alhaji Bello Ipemida Ochi (the father of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello) may his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.

“Many God reward him for his love for the children of other parents he laboured to cater for while in the school as an employee, Amen.

“The school where Pa Bello’s humane attributes were exhibited and remembered might no longer exist as it is currently being proposed to be a military barracks.

“We wish to use this medium to appeal to you to use your good offices to ensure that the school is spared and retained so that it can continue to turn out quality products with legacies as an institution of repute.”, the alumni added.

The association used the occasion to thank Gov. Bello for the appointment of Prof. Salawu Sadiku, an old student of the school, as pioneer Vice-Chancellor of Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara in the Central Senatorial District of Kogi.

“We, the entire old students of OSS, Okene worldwide, wish to express our profound gratitude and appreciation to the Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello for appointing one of us, Prof. Salawu Sadiku as the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of CUSTECH, Osara.”

The alumni described the appointment as a good one saying that the appointee was eminently qualified academically and had over the years, garnered the necessary cognate experience for the task ahead.

“We thank you for providing us the opportunity to showcase the stuff the products of the great Iresu-pogo College are made of through the appointment of Prof. Sadiku.

“We the old students pledge to collaborate with the government to turn around the fortunes of the school and continue to make it a centre of excellence that it has always been known for”, the alumni pledged. (NAN)

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