Lawmakers in the Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives have demanded more slots to be given to them in the Special Public Work programme of the Nigerian Government.
The works programme being supervised by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, is to employ 1,000 low-skilled persons from every local government in the country.
Nigerian politicians have, however, ceded to themselves a chunk of the allocation.
SaharaReporters had reported that slots had been allocated to politicians, youth groups, National Union of Road Transport Workers as well as the Christian Association of Nigeria with political office holders allocated 15 per cent of the slots in the programme.
With 30 out of 1000 slots per local government to each member of the House, the Minority Caucus of the lower chamber rejected the slots, saying the sharing process was not transparent.
The lawmakers demanded more transparency and consultation in the implementation of the 774,000 public works jobs while tasking President Muhamamdu Buhari to immediately order a review of the implementation process to ensure that the targeted citizens benefited from the program as intended.
Speaking on behalf of the lawmakers, the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, in a statement on Tuesday, said the 30 persons allotment to be supervised by a member in each of the local government areas cannot by any criteria be said to be a true representation of the people they are mandated to represent.
He said, “The 30 persons allotment per local government for lawmakers is grossly unfair, inadequate and unacceptable to Nigerians. As the representatives of the people, we are closer to them and they directly interact with us, irrespective of religion, class and political affiliations.
“All Nigerians living in our constituencies are our constituents, irrespective of political leanings. We have a responsibility to protect their interests at all times. As such lawmakers ought to have been carried along on the allotment.”
Questioning the implementation and transparency in the sharing proportions, Elumelu asked “what criteria is being used in the job allotments? Given the 30 persons out of the 1000 per local government area allotted to federal lawmakers, what happens to the remaining 970? What answers do we give Nigerians? How do we ensure that the program benefited Nigerians and not enmeshed in allegations of sharp practices as witnessed in the COVID-19 palliative distribution?”
The beneficiaries are to work for three months between October and December with each of them earning N20,000 monthly.