BY SOLOMON AYADO and AHURAKA ISAH, Abuja –
The rift between the Senate and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday took a deeper crisis dimension, as lawmakers in the Red Chamber rejected the 2018 budget expenditures for the power ministry
Specifically, the upper chamber faulted the ministry’s proposal of N888million for the purchase of cars.
The lawmakers, again, sent back the Minister of State for the ministry for not proffering answers to the questions, saying he should go back and prepare adequately.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Fashola, had also been sent back by the Senators on the ground that he was not prepared to defend the budget, having not presented relevant documents.
The Senate, while noting that the budget of the ministry contains so much incomprehensible items, also queried the N100 million budgeted for managing of documents within its purview.
The legislators faulted several allocations in the budget, including N500 million proposed for monitoring of projects, among other expenditure projections, which were outrightly referred for re-budgeting.
This was the outcome of the budget defense of the power ministry headed by chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.
After drilling the minister of state for power, Mustapha Baba Shehuri and his directors, the lawmakers threw out the budget, claiming that almost all items on the document were found filled with repetitions.
Abaribe said, “This is the first time we are engaging you in budget defense and you can see the essence. Nobody is satisfied with these vague items and your explanations are not satisfactory.
“We are going to do you a comprehensive letter asking for explanations on all the items to guide you in giving us the proper submissions”.