I am answerable only to Mr. President. This programme is for all Nigerians,” - Minister of State for Labour tells Politicians

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has voiced out on the issue of the 774,000 jobs that President Muhammadu Buhari approved recently, with the claim that some politicians are blackmailing him in a bid to enable them to be able to determine the beneficiaries of the scheme.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari promised Nigerians while presenting his speech on Democracy day and before then, that the federal government would employ 1000 persons each from the 774 local government areas in the country.

The job, which is within a special public works programme (SPWP) is to be implemented by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) and would last for three months (October-December).

The program, which would target unskilled persons in rural areas, is meant for the employed workers to clear and protect public infrastructure in rural areas, and they would earn N20,000 per month.

Keyamo, explained that he won’t go beyond to 10-15 percent allocated to political officers in a bid to let the majority of the beneficiaries come from amongst ordinary Nigerians who need them.

He added that he would not sacrifice his reputation and that only President Muhammadu Buhari could make him do otherwise.

“In the past, it used to be that certain people entrusted with this kind of programmes handed them over entirely to political leaders.

“There has been an attempt at blackmailing in this particular programme too to make us also yield to political leaders. But we have said no, not while I am here.

“Except Mr. President, who appointed and gave me the opportunity and rare privilege to drive this programme stops me, no other political leader or person can stop me. I am answerable only to Mr. President. This programme is for all Nigerians,” he said.

“Before coming here today, there has been an attempt by certain political leaders to say I must come and see them behind the scenes first to determine who gets what and how. I said no, I will not do that. I am ready at any time for a public debate on this with them,” he said.

Addressing the newly inaugurated committee chairmen, the minister warned that any committee chairman found wanting would be relieved of his duties and replaced immediately.

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