Return 2021 budget to Executive, Rep. Abiante urges Reps

Rep Awaji-inombek Abiante has urged the House of Representatives to return the 2021 budget estimate of over N13 trillion to the executive.

He said, “such estimate cannot take the country out of the current recession.”

Abiante said this on Monday in Abuja following the failure of the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and Director-General, Budget office, Mr Ben Akabueze, to appear before the House Committee on Science and Technology.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)reports that the minister and the D-G were both summoned by the committee to answer questions bothering on inadequate allocation to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

According to him, Nigerian should redirect their protests to the insufficient budgetary allocation to projects that have the capacity to change the problems bedeviling the country.

Beni Lar, the Chairman of the Committee, however, turned back the representatives of the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, who was sent to defend the 2020 shortfall in budget release to Ministry of Science and Technology.

NAN reports that the committee also frowned at the money released for the agencies and departments under the ministry.

Lar said that the money released to the agencies and departments under the ministry was grossly inadequate to pilot the ministry.

“We embarked on budget hearing at the end, we resolved and call the Minister of Finance and the Budget Office to give explanation on budgetary system and others in Nigeria and the impact so far.

“They didn’t show up, although they sent representative; but sorry we can’t take you because you cannot answer questions we will ask you; this representation is not enough,” he said.

Lar said that there were numerous questions needing the attention of the stakeholders.

NAN reports that other members of the committee also expressed displeasure at the representation sent by the Minister and the D-G budget. (NAN)