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2017 Budget: House of Representatives summon Fashola

2017 Budget: House of Representatives summon Fashola

- Members of the House of Representatives are upset with the minister of works, power and housing, Babatunde Fashola

- Fashola had raised an alarm over the insertion of projects by the National Assembly into the budget

- Comments by the minister has infuriated the lawmakers who have now summoned him

The House of Representatives has summoned Mr Babatunde Fashola, to explain why he described members of the National Assembly as having “stark and worrisome knowledge” of the budget process.

Fashola made the comment when he raised an alarm over the insertion of projects unrelated to his ministry by lawmakers in the 2017 Budget.

The lawmakers are furious over Fashola’s comments with some going as far saying the minister's statement was meant to incite Nigerians against the legislature.

“It's an embarrassment for an appointee of the executive like Raji Fashola to raise such a tarnishing accusation against elected lawmakers,” chief whip of the house, Alhassan Ado Doguwa said while supporting the motion.

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NAIJ.com gathered that the motion was raised by Honourable Sodiq Ibrahim from Adamawa state, which was loudly welcomed by majority of the members in the house.

The speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, put a question across to the members and the house unanimously echoed yes in favour of the motion.

Fashola had said it was unfair to the executive arm for the inclusion of projects by the National Assembly after public hearings on the budget and defence of the fiscal estimates by the ministries.

“What I have in my budget now is primary health care centres, boreholes,” he said at an interactive session with journalists.

He continued: “That was the meeting we had with the acting president and that was the reason why the budget was not signed on time.

“We were asked to complete those abandoned projects; the budget of Lagos-Ibadan expressway was reduced by the National Assembly from N31bn to N10bn.

“We owe the contractors about N15bn and they have written to us that they are going to shut down.

“Also, the budget of the 2nd Niger bridge was reduced from N15bn to N10bn and about N3bn or so was removed from the Okene-Lokoja-Abuja road budget.”

Commenting on the issue, popular human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) advised the executive arm of government to approach the Supreme Court to settle the matter once and for all.

“We have advised the government to put this matter to rest by approaching the Supreme Court. The precious time of the nation has been wasted over who has the right to the project,” Falana told Channels Television.

READ ALSO: N-Power releases more information for its 2016 and 2017 beneficiaries

Watch the NAIJ.com TV video below of the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi talking about the achievements of the federal government.

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