Posted by News Express | 29 July 2017 | 2,089 times
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola on Friday tendered an apology to members of the House of Representatives when he appeared before an ad-hoc committee of the House.
The apology followed allegations that his comments regarding alterations made to the 2017 Appropriation Bill by the National Assembly breached the privileges of the House and sought to incite the Nigerian public against the legislature.
The Minister, however, said the comments he made were already in the public domain and could therefore be taken as inciting the public against the parliament.
He also made it clear that it was not his intention to disparage the House and therefore apologised, if any offence was taken.
“I take the view that saying that which is already a matter of public record is, with respect, not an incitement of the public against the parliament. My purpose was not to incite the public against parliament and that is not my way.
“Allegations that I said that legislators have stark and worrisome knowledge of the budget process; I did not say so of the legislators as a whole. What I said was with respect to the spokesperson who responded to my interview. I have said that it was not my intention to disparage this House. I have said that very much and that if any offence was taken, it wasn’t intended and I apologise for that.”
Fashola had through a statement on June 27, expressed concerns over the recourse of the National Assembly spokespersons to name calling over his observations on the 2017 budget.
He said he was worried that the National Assembly spokespersons failed to address the fundamental points about development, hindering whimsical cuts in the allocations to several vital projects under his Ministry as well as other ministries.
As the controversy lingered and continued to draw reactions from the masses, the former Lagos State Governor said he was not in a fight with the National Assembly but only had a mere misunderstanding with the body.
He, therefore, requested that his views should not be misconstrued as a personal fight but one geared towards finding best ways to implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
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