The Minister of Employment, Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, has apologised to the National Assembly over the recent outburst by the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo when he appeared before a joint committee over-sighting the ministry.
Recall that Mr Keyamo had locked horns with the National Assembly leadership over the processes and modalities for implementing the Special Public Works programme of the Federal Government meant to hire 774,000 youths across Nigeria.
Speaking during a courtesy call on the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in Abuja, Mr Ngige said the position canvassed by Mr Keyamo was not sacrosanct.
Mr Ngige said: “We deeply regret the incident that happened at the last visit, the altercations that followed it between my Minister of State and members of the joint committee.
“Therefore, we decided that as a team we will come in full force and give you the necessary information that you will need so that we can fast-track this programme.
“Today in the 9th Senate we are enjoying a good and robust relationship with the legislature and we do not want some of us who have passed through this institution will do everything that is possible to maintain that relationship.
“Therefore, Mr Senate President, I apologise on behalf of the Ministry for what took place at the last time and I hope that this apology will be taken by the members of the Committee and the entire National Assembly because I am aware and I know that a committee is a representative of the whole.
“The Committee room is an extension of our hallowed chambers over there like the plenary chambers. I therefore, request that we forgive and forget.
“Let us turn a new page and start off on this programme which the National Assembly has indicated that it is suspended because we can’t suspend forever programme that affect our people…
“My Minister of State has put out a position paper, that position paper, nothing is sacrosanct there. We can still discuss and agree to agree after disagreeing,” Mr Ngige added.