Nigeria’s House of Representatives has asked the federal government to stop the proposed flag-off of its ‌Special Public Works Programme, billed to commence on January 5, 2021.

The House passed the resolution during plenary on Tuesday, asking the finance ministry to halt the disbursement of N52 billion earmarked for the programme in the 2020 fiscal plan.

The resolution followed a motion by Olajide Olatunbosun (APC-Oyo) who queried why the names of many Nigerians were excluded from the list of beneficiaries released by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

The House also criticised the recent sacking of Mohammed Ladan Argungu as director-general of the NDE by President Muhammadu Buhari, while demanding a reversal of his removal.

Minister of State for Labour Festus Keyamo has had a running disagreement with both arms of the country’s federal legislature over controversies surrounding the control of the scheme, which targets the creation of 774,000 jobs across the country.

Mr. Argungu, the ousted NDE DG, was widely believed to have thrown his weight behind the parliament in the ongoing controversy.

The House committees on labour and productivity and legislative compliance were mandated to follow through on the resolutions to ensure compliance, while reporting to the lower chamber next week.

It remains unclear whether the Buhari administration would stick with the new schedule for implementation of the scheme, sequel to the new development