Former Ebonyi commissioner sues for dialogue over suspension of 774,000 public sector job programme

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Dr. Paul Okorie

Former Ebonyi state Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport Dr. Paul Okorie, has appealed for dialogue between the National Assembly and the Executive to resolve the rift between the two arms of government over the proposed public sector job recruitment. 

Speaking with journalists today in Abakaliki, he said the 774, 000 proposed jobs will lift many Nigerian youths out of poverty by equipping them with skills to become self-employed. 

He, therefore, urged both arms to put the jobless youths who would benefit more from the programme above partisan interest, and adopt dialogue for early resolution of the differences. 

He explained that the programme was introduced by the federal government to alleviate the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, while beneficiaries would be placed on N20,000 monthly stipend for the duration of the programme. 

The former commissioner and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), noted that dialogue remained the most effective mechanism in resolving any dispute among the three arms of government in a democracy. 

He however explained that it was the constitutional responsibility of the executive to execute laws made by the legislature as well as implement programmes and policies of government for the smooth governance of the country. 

He said that the National Assembly’s suspension of the programme under the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) was a disservice to the thousands of youths who would benefit from the initiative. 

“There is a clear-cut separation of powers as provided by the constitution among the different arms government in a presidential democracy such as ours. 

“The legislature is saddled with the responsibility of lawmaking and oversight of executive activities, the judiciary interprets laws while the executive arm is charged with responsibility of implementing laws, execute government programmes and policies. 

“In the present instance, the National Assembly through a budgetary provision approved the proposed job programme; they will be over-reaching their powers by seeking to be part of the programme implementation process. 

National Assembly complex

“If the lawmakers want to get anything from the executive for their constituents, there is a more civilised way to do it; you make contacts and make a lobby and see what you can get out of it. 

“But, it is not the duty of legislature to implement governmental programmes and the constitution is clear on that. 

“However, since there is already a friction and altercation between the two arms, the best way to get by it is to adopt dialogue, he advised.

SummitNews recalls that the National Assembly on Monday, July 1 announced the suspension of implementation of the proposed 774000 public sector job aimed at cushioning the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The suspension followed alleged disagreement between Mr. Festus Kyamo, minister of state for Labour and Employment and the National Assembly Joint Committee on Labour when the parties met over the implementation modalities of the programme.  

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