Reps Refuse Aviation Minister Over Failure To Submit Budget In Advance

The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation led by Nnolim Nnaji on Thursday, turned back the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and the heads of agencies under the ministry of aviation from presenting the Ministry’s 2021 budget proposal for failure to forward the documents to the committee in advance.

The chairman, Honourable Nnaji had in his opening remarks at the scheduled budget meeting with the Minister and the chief executives of the agencies, bemoaned the failure of the Ministry to forward the documents despite an earlier request to do so. “Honourable Minister, l don’t know how you expect us to continue this meeting since we just got your 2021 budget proposal this morning despite giving you over a week notice so that we can read through and digest it before today.

“I am not blaming you for this but l must say that I am disappointed in those who ought to have handled this but failed to do their jobs. For us to do a proper job, we need time to read through”, he stressed.

The chairman noted that the 2021 budget required thorough examination and proper considerations because of the impact of the corona virus pandemic on the industry which according to him was precarious. He further observed that the #ENDSARS protest also hit the industry that was just trying to recover adding that the 2021 budget must be such that would help stabilise the industry with the provision of the required critical infrastructures.

Nnaji however added that he would leave it for the members to decide and therefore sought the views of the members on whether to continue or to reschedule for a new date to enable them to study the documents. All the members who voiced their views were unanimous in agreeing that the Minister and his team returns on another day for the defense to enable members study both the 2021 proposal and the implementations of this year’s budget.

The Minister in his response apologised to the chairman and members for the failure of his people to forward the documents before the meeting and pleaded that they give him them another date to present the budget. Both the committee and the ministry resolved to meet on Thursday the 12th of Nov. 2020 by 11 am for the budget presentation.

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