Budget defence: Buhari’s aide on hot seat, Fashola defends Julius Berger on pace of work

On Thursday, drama continued at the budget defence sessions by different committees in the House of Representatives.

The National Assembly is working towards ensuring passage of the N13.08trillion 2021 budget before the expiration of the 2020 budget by December 31st, 2020.

Buhari’s Aide and N26.9billion SDG budget:

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals and former deputy governor of Lagos State, Orelope-Adefulire explained to the lawmakers how COVID19 stalled SDG projects during budget defence before the committee on SDGs.

She disclosed that her office only got N3billion out of the N26.9billion budgeted for intervention projects to be executed by SDG office.

He further revealed why Rivers State was excluded from intervention on COVID19. She blamed the state government for not cooperating with her office.

“We provided 100 beds and facemask for every state except Rivers State because it does not cooperate with us. I don’t really know what the problem is, if we take anything to them, they don’t accept. But I’m making out time to meet with the governor,” she stated.

Following series of questions from the lawmakers, she was saved by the Chairman of the Committee, Rotimi Agunsoye, who is from Lagos.

Fashola defends Julius Berger on Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Express:

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola on Thursday revealed why the ongoing Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressway has been going at slow pace.

It would be recalled that many have criticized Julius Berger, the German construction giant handling the project of slow pace. The House in 2019 summoned Julius Berger over the project.

Fashola at the budget defence before the committee explained that the construction company is dealing demolition of houses, right of passage and high rate of vehicular movement on the road.

Committee fumes as Aviation Minister fails to comply with directive:

The defence of the Budget of the Ministry of Aviation was postponed on Thursday after the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Serika failed to comply with the directive of the Committee.

According to the Chairman of the Committee on Avaition, Nnolim Nnaji, the Ministry of Aviation submitted its budget on Thursday against the directive of the Committee which asked all MDAs to submit budget before the day of defence.

“Honourable Minister, l don’t know how you expect us to continue this meeting since we just got your 2021 budget proposal this morning despite giving you over a week notice so that we can read through and digest it before today.

“I am not blaming you for this but l must say that I am disappointed in those who are supposed to have handled this but failed to do their jobs”, he stated.

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