The Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals yesterday walked out the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Abubakar Aliyu, from the budget defence session and summoned Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing.
Aliyu had stood in for Fashola, but the committee, chaired by Senator Aisha Dahiru Ahmed Binani, insisted that the latter appeared before it in person to clarify grey areas in the 2020 budget estimate of his ministry.
Fashola, earlier scheduled to appear before the committee at 12noon yesterday, sent Aliyu, to represent him.
But the committee rejected the submission from Aliyu, insisting on taking it from only Fashola. Aliyu’s explanation that Fashola travelled on an official assignment on President Muhammadu Buhari’s permission was also rejected.
A member of the committee, Senator Teslim Folarin, had said it was wrong for the minister to have travelled without appearing before the committee despite Buhari’s directive barring ministers from travelling or absenting themselves from the budget defence.
Senator Binani said replies to the letters the committee exchanged with the ministry were personally signed by Fashola, questioning why he travelled after being duly invited.
The committee turned down the Minister of State and adjourned to 2pm to await Fashola who did not turn up.
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