774,000 Jobs: Presidency, House of Reps may be on a collision course

Nigerians, especially on social media, have become accustomed to heaping any and every blame for any mishap the country may be faced with on the President; Muhammadu Buhari, and quite frankly, it’s easy to understand this sentiment. The man is the President after all.

While logically speaking, the President is not, and does not have the capacity to handle every crisis that occurs within the country, it is his responsibility to be in the front line of every situation that is deemed a national crisis, and even with this responsibility, the President has shown very little concern – like the lack of urgency the President has shown toward the kidnapping of over 300 students in Kastina.

At too many instances, the President is not entirely at fault, even though the issues fall directly under his jurisdiction.

Earlier today, the Punch reported that the House of Representatives has suspended the FG’s job initiative to create 774,000 job opportunities all across the country. The National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity had clashed over the recruitment of 774,000 workers for the scheme.

The House requested that the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning cease from sponsoring the initiative which has been slated to kick off January 2021. It is believed that this was done in response to the sacking the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment, Dr Nasiru Argungu, with no mentioned rationale. The House has urged the President to reinstate the man.

A bicameral government such as ours should naturally serve the purpose of weighing in on policies that best develop the nation based on different economical, social, political and philosophical ideologies they each possess. However, when a government becomes corrupt, this purpose then deviates towards personal motivations rather than a consideration for the greater good of the people.

This is why a seemingly positive initiative such as creating jobs for nearly a million people would be suspended with no valid reason stated. While this administration needs all the goodwill it can get, as the past five years for it has been a complete failure, the senate is actually going out of its way to create more animosity for its regime by halting this program.

The program which was suggested last year by the President aims at employing 1000 people in each of the 774 local governments in Nigeria. The President proposed that public works that will afford 20,000 naira to each person employed should be created. This was originally meant to start on November 2020, but was later moved to January 2021.

On this rare occasion, the President actually seems to want to do something about increased unemployment but here we are.

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