Replying the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola who called out the National Assembly for cutting the budget meant for his ministry to carry out its duties last week, Abdulrazaq Namdas spokesman of the House of Representatives, on Thursday said the minister should be bold and sincere enough to tell Nigerians why his ministry inserted N20 billion for miscellaneous expenditure while the second Niger Bridge had N12 billion estimate.
“There is a clear judgment in favour of NASS in May 2016 when activist lawyer, Femi Falana, went to court to ascertain whether we can increase or decrease budget estimates of the executive and the court ruled in our favour that the National Assembly is not a mere rubber stamp,” Namdas said.
“When I told the minister that they budgeted N17 billion for environment impact assessment (EIA) in Mambila, we felt it was unjustified, we felt it was bogus and uncalled for. He did not fault what I said. What he said was that it was a mis-description that we should have called his attention”.
“As good as they are in their place since they know everything, they shouldn’t have brought something to the National Assembly with mis-descriptions. But because we have due diligence in the National Assembly, we were able to detect mis-descriptions and that means we have been working, identifying and looking at the budget. And again, when I even said N20 billion lump sum was just put in the budget without details, the minister did not say I was telling lies. “He didn’t say he provided details. What he only said was that it was proper planning that N20 billion was put in case of eventualities”.
“How can you put N20 billion as miscellaneous in case of anything when a whole Second Niger Bridge was N12 billion and it was yanked off? “If every ministry must bring N20 billion as miscellaneous then what is going to remain as the budget of the country?” He added.