The Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has insisted he won’t give in to the series of blackmails and pressure by some politicians seeking to determine who gets allotted the 774,000 jobs approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The 774,000 approved jobs comes under the special public works programme of National Directorate of Employment (NDE), specifically targeting unskilled persons in the rural areas.
Speaking at the official inauguration of the states selection committee of the extended special public works programme on yesterday in Abuja, Keyamo maintained that majority of the jobs must be allotted to ordinary Nigerians, who were in need of them.
While noting that he would not sacrifice his reputation and principles by going beyond the 10 to 15 per cent allotted political officers, he said only President Buhari could make him do otherwise.
In his words: “In the past, it used to be that certain people entrusted with this kind of programmes hand them over entirely to political leaders.
“There has been attempt at blackmailing me in this particular programme too to make us also yield into political leaders and 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.
“Before coming here today, there have 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 and I said no; I will not do that and I am ready at any time for a public debate on this with them.”
While advising the new committee chairmen not to allow the process be hijacked by politicians, he warned that anyone caught under politicians bug would be relieved of the position and replaced immediately.