The Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider and rescind his decision on the sack of the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Nasir Argungu.
A presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, announced Mr Argungu’s sack in a statement on Tuesday.
No reason was given for the sack and the directive was meant to take effect from Monday, December 7.
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, was directed to nominate an Acting DG from amongst the most senior directors based on competencies and seniority to take over from Mr Argungu until a substantive holder of the post is appointed by the president.
The lawmakers on Thursday, also urged the president to order an investigation into the ‘frosty relationship’ between Mr Argungu and his supervisory minister, Mr Keyamo; as well as the impact of the frosty relationship on the implementation of the Special Works Programme.
They further urged Mr Keyamo to put on hold the appointment of an acting DG pending the investigation
The call followed a motion sponsored by Jigawa senator, Ibrahim Hadeija, who noted that the controversy surrounding the removal of Mr Argungun began trending on the print and electronic media.
He said while it remains in the powers of the president as the custodian of the executive powers of the federal government to appoint and remove the calibre of such appointees, Mr Argungu gave room for speculation in many quarters that unpatriotic people were scheming to undermine and disrupt the implementation of the laudable Special Works Programme.
“This is also capable of creating a needless leadership crisis at NDE at this critical time that the federal government is trying issues of unemployment and youth empowerment in the country.
“It is in overriding public interest to reconsider and rescind the said presidential directive of the removal of Dr. Ladan, DG NDE, to ensure stability and smooth implementation of job creation, skill acquisition of the federal government special works programme aimed at benefiting our youths who are unemployed and remain restless in the streets,” he said.
On his part, Rochas Okorocha advised lawmakers to think of an approach of adopting peace and not necessarily going on what is right or wrong.
He said it is not the place of the Senate to adjudicate on a rift between any one arm of government and others.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, stated that the National Assembly is in full support of the Special Public Works Programme of the recruitment of youth in each local government.
The problem, he said, is in the sacking of the DG.
“The NDE successfully implemented the pilot programme in six states. If there are rifts between the DG and his ministers. We should look at the benefits of getting this programme implemented and resolve the issue that may be characterising the relationships.
“One of the prayers that they work together is very fundamental. We want the leadership of NDE to continue with this programme. We commit ourselves to ensure this programme succeeds. This programme could be delayed but we need to have a reconciliation between the minsitry and the leadership of NDE.
“Personally, I know how committed the DG is to this. It looks like there is a problem but no problem should override national interest.”
Mr Argungu is said to have a cozy relationship with lawmakers hence their call for the president to reconsider his directive.
Since his removal, there have been speculations that it is related to a sour relationship with Mr Keyamo, who in turn has a sour relationship with lawmakers.
The minister and members of the National Assembly have been at loggerheads since August as they failed to agree on which office will implement the Special Works Programme which seeks to create 774,000 jobs in all local governments.