Bala Na’Allah, senator representing Kebbi south, says Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, risks going to jail over the planned requirement of 774,000 citizens.
Contributing to a motion by Opeyemi Bamidele, senator representing Ekiti central, on Tuesday, Na’Allah said Keyamo’s role in the recruitment is only supervisory.
Keyamo had engaged in a shouting match with some lawmakers when he appeared before them over the programme earlier in the month.
While the lawmakers had accused Keyamo of hijacking the programme from the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), the minister said the legislators were the ones trying to take over the project.
In his contribution on Tuesday, Na’Allah said while Keyamo lacks the constitutional backing to carry on with the process, he has been insisting on handling it.
“The president deemed it fit to present before this national assembly under a specific agency established by law to perform a function and all of a sudden we have somebody who has neither legal or constitutional authority but supervisory authority coming to say ‘no, I will take it myself and do it’,” the senator said.
“We will be going riotously against the oath of office and I think that is not good for the institution of the senate.
“I commend Mr President [for saying] that he will not tolerate certain conducts that appear to rubbish the national assembly. The legislative privileges act gave us power to decisively deal with those kinds of conducts which in some cases will end up in going to jail and that is the provisions of the law.
“I would like to draw the attention of Nigerians to look at section 11 of the legislative privileges act as it exists today.
“My regret is that certain people lacking in conduct and character have leveraged on certain political [will] to occupy public office and have displayed lack of content and character, I think we have a responsibility to stop that.”