Tuesday, February 16

Reps stop minister of communication, Abebayo Shittu from presenting his budget proposal

A mild drama played out at the House of Representatives on Monday, February 15, as the Joint Committees on Telecommunications/Information Communication Technologies again stopped the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, from defending his ministry’s budget proposal, Punch reports.

The House had last week rejected the minister’s budget proposal on the grounds that his ministry’s budget was different from that which President Muhammadu Buhari submitted to the House. At a session yesterday, just five minutes after he was ushered into the lower chamber, the Joint Committees on Telecommunications/Information Communication Technologies again directed Shittu to take the budget back and re-work it.

It was gathered that one of the co-chairmen, Saheed Fijabi, had asked that the meeting to be called off. Fijabi said: “We are dealing with two budgets here. What the minister is presenting is different from what Mr. President gave us. “We have to agree on whether to accept his own or we stop him and take another date.”

His colleagues led by Mohammed Onawo backed Fijabi. Onawo said: “The power of appropriation lies with the legislature and we are bound by law to do what is right. “From the figures available to us, we have to work in the interest of the nation. We have to do the needful.”

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation has revealed that the 2016 budget would be passed “not later than second week of March” by the National Assembly.

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