As Nigerians earnestly hope and await the fruition of the 774,000 jobs promised by the federal government to the curb the growing rate of unemployment in the nation, the People Democratic Party has alleged the All Progressive Congress [APC] of Nepotism the allocation of the 774,000 public works jobs in all the local governments. .
In a statement released by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said: “While our party is not against the creation of job opportunities to Nigerians, we reject this crafty political allocation, which is a direct exclusion of hardworking Nigerians from opportunities that should have been open to them under an open and transparent process.
“The PDP notes that since the funding for the jobs is drawn from the national purse, the process should be completely apolitical in a manner that grants unrestrictive opportunity to all Nigerians, irrespective of political affiliation, ethnicity or creed.
“The PDP rejects a situation where, in each local government area, 800 slots of the 1,000 jobs have already been pencilled off to political cronies while the remaining 200 openings are thrown open for contest to the public, which also include politically affiliated persons.”
“Such brash violation of the principle of fairness and equal opportunity by the APC and its administration is a direct invitation to restiveness and acrimony in the country; as such, should be immediately rescinded in the national interest.
“Already, there is a growing uneasiness and restiveness among Nigerians who would definitely be denied opportunity to participate in this national process.
Also in another latest development, the House of Representative Minority Caucus has cried out that the intention of the allocation committee to only allocate just 30 slot to each member of the house from the 1,000 000 job per local government was unfair and unacceptable to lawmakers and Nigerians.
Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta), said in a statement they were rejecting the 30 job slots allotted to them.
According to Elumelu, “It said as true representatives of the people, it was unfair to allocate just 30 slots out of available 1,000 to members from the local governments within their constituencies.”
He also stated that the caucus was demanding more transparency and review of the criteria being used for the allocation of the 774,000 public works jobs in all the local governments.
He claimed that the criteria for the allocation of the 774,000 jobs is geared towards favoring the ruling All Progressive Party [APC]
He proceeded to saying that this is an opportunity for the government to help and assist the masses through the provision of jobs for them and the various unemployed youths in the nation, he explained that the people are looking up to the lawmakers as major channels for social and economic empowerment, a situation which makes the 30 slots out of the social and economic empowerment a situation, which makes the 30 slots out of the 1,000 per local government grossly inadequate.
According to him “The 30 person’s 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 are 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?”
Elumelu then appealed to the President federal republic of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure a proper scrutiny of the process so that the targeted citizens of the nation can truly benefit from the program as it was designed for.
Examining the position of the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu and his far cry that the 30 allotted slots given to the lawmakers is too small, it is however important to note that there are many Nigerians who are hoping and banking on the federal government tyo ensure an open and transparent process, and not one marred with the various traits of nepotism and favoritism. Also while the lawmakers may be considered one of the closet link to the people especially at the grassroots, they should instead advocate for a transparent process and not for a specific numbers of slots to be allocated to them. More than the impact they think they can make or achieve with 30 slots or any other given slots, the federal government has approved the provision of 1000 slots for each local government areas in the country. They should instead put up strategies to ensure that each local government are well covered and the process is as transparent as it can ever be.
By Amudipe Marcus