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We Won’t Be Disrespected – Reps Blow Hot, Give Minister 48 Hours To Appear Before Its Committee



Some members of the House of Representatives have accused the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clem Agba of attempting to undermine their activities.

The House Committee on Civil Society Organisations and donor agencies on Tuesday lamented that the Minister has failed to appear before it despite several letters to his office.

The lawmakers, therefore, issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Minister to appear before them.

The committee chairman, Hon. Kabir Idris issued the directive after it was discovered that the Minister was represented by a Director of the ministry, Oluseyi Fatuyi, and an assistant Director Abdullahi Yakubu at an investigative hearing of the committee on Tuesday.

Fatuyi in his response, however, apologized on the Minister’s behalf, explaining that Agba had it in mind to appear in person before the committee but some other things came up just before the meeting which forced the Minister to change his schedules and delegate them.

He said: “Our minister has always expressed readiness to attend this meeting, so we are very sorry sir. In respect of his inability to properly communicate to the Committee a letter of his absence, we are sorry because it is not intentional it is just that something came up today and he had to delegate us. Up till last night, he was to make it”

A member of the Committee, Hon. Elisha Simon Karu who also voiced his dissatisfaction on the non-appearance of the Minister noted that the cordial relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government shouldn’t be taken for granted particularly at a time Nigerians are demanding a change in the way things are been done through the #EndSARS protests rocking many cities.

Karu noted that the Minister’s absence is delaying the work of the lawmakers who are representatives of the people.

“I do not intend to disrespect you or your office in any way but Nigerians are there on the street calling the National Assembly out for the failure of our system. So we will not attend to anyone other than the minister to appear himself, we would not accept anything less”, he declared.

Adding that: “The investigation of the committee is being delayed by the non-appearance of the minister, he said. There is no need continuing without the person in charge of the Ministry being here. We have a cordial relationship with the executive, but we must be respected.”

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