Amaechi, Lawmakers Clash Over 2018 Budget Figures
Lawmakers at the National Assembly, the Minster of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday disagreed over figures presented in the 2018 Budget of the ministry.
The disagreement was sequel to the visit of the Minister of Tranportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, to the Senate Wing of the National Assembly, who appeared before a joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Land Transport Transport Chaired by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, at the National Assembly to defend his Ministry’s budget proposal for 2018.
While the session was ongoing, Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Land Transport, Hon Adesegun Adekoya, representing Ijebu-North/Ijebu-East/Ogun Waterside under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), showed displeasure over the figures rolled out by Ameachi.
Adekoya, raised a point of order requesting that the Honourable Minister be placed on oath, alleging that the Minister had released figures filled with discrepancies at the 2017 budget defence.
In his words “Mr. Chairman sir, Point of Order, I want to request that the Honourable Minister be placed on oath sir. I need to be sure that the figures he is giving us today are the genuine figures, not like what transpired last year when we were told that counterpart funding for Lagos – Ibadan is N60 Billion Naira and the Ministry went on to receive N75Billion for the same project, without the necessary appropriation for the excess N15 Billion.”
While this ensued into a heated exchange of words between Amaechi and Hon. Adeoya, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ashafa pointed out that it was against parliamentary procedure to place anybody on oath except during an investigative hearing.
Immediately calm was restored, Amaechi, in a swift response, explained that the extra N12Billion Naira required for counterpart funding of the Lagos to Ibadan segment of the Lagos – Kano Railway Modernisation Project was not received and as such, he notified the Ministry of Finance to withhold disbursement of the sum till the 2017 Appropriation was passed into law.