Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola in a recent interview, complained that legislators had, in approving the budget, reduced funds for some key projects of his ministry and allocated the money to others not stated.
According to PUNCH, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Danjuma Goje, raised a point of order at plenary on Wednesday, accusing him of misleading the public and blackmailing it over manipulations.
Senator Goje mentioned that although he would like to take up the matter, he will leave the House of Representatives to handle it since they raised it on Tuesday, adding that he will advise the minister.
While speaking Senate President Bukola Saraki, interrupted him, saying, “Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central), you are not paying attention to this matter.”
Senator Goje then went further and said:
Initially, I wanted to come under a motion but, yesterday, the House of Representatives took up the matter. Since we are on the same page with the House, I feel I should not come under a motion. But I will like to seize this opportunity to advise the minister that he should remember that he is now a minister and should behave like a minister.
He is not a governor (anymore) and this National Assembly is not Lagos State House of Assembly. This is an Assembly composed of very patriotic Nigerians, very experienced Nigerians; many had done his job; many were governors before him.
Fashola should know that he is dealing with the National Assembly of Nigeria, not of Lagos. If the job is too much for him – the ministry is too big; it comprises three ministries, which are works, housing and power; if he cannot adjust, then, he should do the honourable thing. He should so the needful.
No amount of blackmail by him; no amount of propaganda by him or his surrogates will stop this National Assembly from discharging its duties in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. We have sworn to uphold and protect this Constitution, and this we will do to the end of this Assembly.
For now, I will cease fire and watch to see how the House will handle him. If he is well handled there, we will leave him with them. But if we are not satisfied and they pass him to us, then, we will take him over.
Speaking on the matter, Saraki said: “I am happy that the House of Representatives are also taking up this issue. It is a matter that we must be responsible, especially those at the (executive) cabinet to look at issues from a national point of view in the interest of all Nigerians.”
“We will definitely wait for the outcome of his appearance before the House of Representatives before further contributions. But we have taken your comment, Chairman of Appropriations,” Saraki added.