Budget defence: Minister begs senators to allow perm sec answer on his behalf

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The Senate Committee on Power has turned down an appeal by the Minister of state for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shahuru to allow the Permanent Secretary, perm sec, in the ministry, Mr. Frank Edozie, to provide answers on his behalf.

This happened on Monday during the defence of the 2018 budget projections of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, when the Minister of State could not respond to questions posed to him by members of the Committee.

Chairman of the Senate committee,
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe responded thus; “You were sent here to represent the Minister. It means you are here to respond to our questions. Last week, we invited the Permanent Secretary to respond. Today, it is your turn.

“My colleagues asked me how come you are the person here and not Fashola. But I told them since you were also a Minister, you could be here to on behalf of your Minister,” Abaribe told the Minister.

Meanwhile, it emerged during the budget defence session that the ministry proposed three times to purchase utility vehicles, respectively in the sum of N120 million, N480 million and N288 million.

The lawmaker representing Edo Central Senatorial District, Clifford Ordia, while pointing this out, said, “You earmarked N120 million, N288 million and N480 million for the purchase of vehicles. I do not understand. Are these vehicles different? If you add up this figure, it gives you about N888 million.

“You also said that you want to spend N100 million on transfer of office files. How do you intend to do that? The people in your office, what have they been doing? I can also see from your estimates here that you captured another item for ICT, different from the N100 million for transfer of files. You need to explain these things”.

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