Constitution does not recognize Minister of State – Reps hit Keyamo

The House of Representatives, on Tuesday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give directive to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige to act according to existing laws on the planned Special Public Works (SPW) programme.

The House resolved that the Constitution does not recognize the office of the Minister of State and also directed the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed not to release funds contrary to that resolution.

The resolution followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechuckwu on Tuesday.

It would be recalled that both the National Assembly and the Minister of State (Labour), Festus Keyamo have been at daggers drawn over the implementation of the N56billion special works programme.

Moving the motion, Okechuckwu said that 202 appropriation law recognizes “the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) Act as the implementation agency.”

He added that “Minister of State” is not a creation of Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution. This may therefore be the reason for the refusal of the Minister of State to be guided on the method adopted by Parliament for its proceedings and his assertion that “only Mr. President can stop our work”, not our laws nor our institutions.”

Also speaking on the motion, Uzoma Abonta from Abia State condemned the executive for disregarding existing laws by adopting short term interventions.

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