The Minister noted this in reaction to the Senate President’s submission asking him, as the supervising Minister of the National Directorate of Employment- NDE to hands off the preparation and execution of the proposed post Covid-19 Programme.
The Senate President, we gathered later directed the DG, NDE, Dr. Nasir Ladan Argungu to bring his plans for the execution of the Program DIRECTLY to the National Assembly on Monday, July 13, 2020, for scrutiny and approval, a template which the Joint Committee also adopted before they adjourned the meeting.
According to the Minister, ‘With the utmost humility, I regret to say these directives are against the provisions of the NDE Act made by the National Assembly itself and the Constitutional provisions on Separation of Powers’.
1. By virtue of Section 3 (2) of the NDE Act, as supervising Minister, I am the Chairman of the Board of NDE that superintendents and gives directions to the Management of the NDE.
2. That by virtue of section 15 of the NDE Act, I am also authorized, as supervising Minister, to give general directives to the Board and Management, with which they must comply.
3. By virtue of Section 16 (1) of the NDE Act, the supervising Minister has the sole prerogative to constitute Committees for the Agency.
5. By a memo Ref: CAO.143/S.1/T11/8 dated October 18, 2019, and forwarded to all Government functionaries by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, I was mandated by Mr. President to oversee all the activities of the National Directorate of Employment.
6. In addition to the above, by a letter, Ref: SH/COS/14/A/1217 dated 6 May, 2020, Mr. President, once again, approved that I supervise the preparation and execution of the Special Public Works Programme domiciled under the N.D.E
Despite all these provisions of the law and Presidential directives, the National Assembly still went ahead and authorized the DG of NDE to proceed to submit a plan without the express approval of the Minister. This was done in a desperate bid to get me out of the way AT ALL COST.
My involvement in this process so far is to constitute multi-sectoral Committees at State levels to ensure a grassroots selection process. This was done after an inter-Ministerial Committee headed by the DG NDE made such a recommendation which I accepted. As stated above, I am authorized to do so by virtue of Section 16 (1) of the NDE Act. As a result all the sponsored allegations and attacks in relation to my role so far are nothing but cheap blackmail. My actions are backed by law.
In the circumstances of the above, I regret to say I am not bound by such a patently illegal and unconstitutional resolution by the National Assembly and I am only bound by the provisions of the law and the Constitution that all public officers swore on oath to uphold.