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Festus Keyamo

Keyamo Denies Touching N52bn SPW Scheme In 2020, Apologises To Senate

11 months ago
1 min read

Former Minister of Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has denied receiving any ‘kobo’ from the N52 billion budgeted for the Special Public Works Programme set up by the Federal Government in 2020.

Keyamo made the clarification when he appeared before the Senate on Monday to be screened as a ministerial nominee.

The SPW scheme managed by the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) which recruited 1000 youths in each of the 774 local government areas in Nigerias was under the ministry supervised by Keyamo.

President Bola Tinubu nominated him to join his cabinet subject to confirmation by the Senate.

The Upper Chamber was thrown into a rowdy session over a motion moved by Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Darlington Nwokocha, seeking to stop the screening of Keyamo as miniterial nominee.

Nwokocha accused the ex-minister of insulting the 9th Senate in 2020 when he was invited to explain issues about the role of the ministry in the Special Public Works Programme.

READ ALSO: Ministerial Screening: 2020 Clash With Senators Over N52bn NDE Scheme Affects Keyamo’s Chances 

Responding, Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria from Delta State explained that the fund was handled by the World Bank and that they only provided the list if beneficiaries.

He also apologised to Senate over what happened then

He said: “ I apologise to the Senate. I am sorry, I am sorry and I am sorry.”

“Regarding that programme, the account was handled by the World Bank. So, we, the head of the agencies, never saw one kobo. We only generated the list and the money was paid directly to the people’s account.

“Every detail of that account was captured and kept in a file. All the records of the beneficiaries and their data are in the ministry.”

The rowdy session that ensued when the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, asked the Senators to do a voice vote on the motion moved by Nwokocha, led the Upper Chamber to call for a closed-door session after  order was restored.

Meanwhile, Akpabio reportedly went to the Presidential Villa in Abuja following the rowdy session at the Senate over the screening of Keyamo.

Though the agenda of the Senate President at the Villa was not made public, it might not be unconnected to an altercation on the floor of the Senate on Monday.

Keyamo also served as spokesperson of Tinubu’s presidential campaign council in the 2023 election.


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