By Gift Chapi Odekina
The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has rejected the 30 job slots allotted to each member of the House for their respective local government areas within their constituencies, in the Federal Government’s 774,000 public jobs scheme
The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, in a statement on Tuesday, described the allotment of 30 out of the 1000 slots per local government, as grossly unfair and unacceptable by Nigerians and the lawmakers, who are the true representatives of the people
The caucus demanded for more transparency and a review of the criteria being used for the allotment, which is alleged to favour certain interests in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the detriment and disadvantage of majority of other Nigerians.
The minority leader of the House, who also represents Aniocha North/Aniocha South and Oshimili North and South Federal Constituency of Delta state, insisted that “the 30 persons allotment to be supervised by a member in each of the local government areas, cannot by any criteria, said to be a true representation of the people they are mandated to represent.”
Elumelu stressed that the 774,000 jobs are meant for the people and that the people look up to the lawmakers as major channels through which they are reached for social and economic empowerment, a situation, which makes the 30 person, out of the 1000 per local government, grossly inadequate.
“The 30 persons allotment per local government for lawmakers is grossly unfair, inadequate and unacceptable to Nigerians. As the representatives of the people, we are closer to them and they directly interact with us, irrespective of religion, class and political affiliations.
“All Nigerians living in our constituencies are our constituents, irrespective of political leanings. We have a responsibility to protect their interests at all times. As such lawmakers ought to have been carried along on the allotment.
“Moreover, the questions are, what criteria is being used in the job allotments? Given the 30 persons out of the 1000 per local government area allotted to federal lawmakers, what happens to the remaining 970? What answers do we give Nigerians? How do we ensure that the program benefited Nigerians and not enmeshed in allegations of sharp practices as witnessed in the COVID-19 palliative distribution?
The lawmakers therefore demanded for more transparency and consultation in the implementation of the 774,000 public works jobs.
The caucus charged President Muhamamdu Buhari to immediately order a review of the implementation process to ensure that the targeted citizens benefited from the program as intended.