An Abuja based legal practitioner and social crusader, Abdulazeez Tijani have invoked the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act against the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), demanding details of disbursement of N52bn to some youths under former President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Public Work (SPW) policy.
This is contained in a statement signed by the lead counsel, Mr Abdulazeez Tijani in Abuja.
According to the statement, the disbursement of the N52bn approved and released to NDE by the former President was said to have been supervised by the office of the immediate past Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo.
It states that Keyamo who was probed on the issue by some Senators during his screening as a Ministerial nominee had claimed on the floor of the Senate that all registers and records of the beneficiaries are domiciled with the NDE.
It stresses that Keyamo had told the lawmakers that the account details and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) of the 774,000 youths who benefited under the SPW policy can be accessed under the NDE.
According to the statement, a letter dated August 10, 2023, and received the same day in the NDE Headquarters in Abuja, the lawyer claimed that as a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria, he became curious to know the true state of affairs about the Special Public Works involving 774,000 youths and disbursement of N52bn to them as claimed in the Senate by the former Minister.
The statement however stresses that in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, the legal practitioner said he will be responsible for the cost of production of the demanded documents.
It further explains that in the letter obtained by their correspondent, the lawyer warned the NDE Director General to take the 30-day ultimatum as a pre-action notice and act within the period to meet his demands in line with the provision of the enabling law.
According to the statement the program was targeted at employing 1,000 unskilled youths in each of the 774 local government areas for three months across the country.
It further says that the beneficiaries were expected to engage in public service work and receive a monthly stipend of N20,000 each for three months.
Written by: Elizabeth David