The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has in a statement said his response to Senator Danjuma is only for the purpose of refocusing attention to the issues at stake.
The legislator’s utterances and choice of words were “unparliamentary and therefore not deserving of a reply,” Fashola hits back at Senator Danjuma Goje.
The minister who was attending the 35th Annual General Meeting of the Shelter Afrique in Zimbabwe also said it was regrettable that Goje, the Chairman, Committee Chairman on Appropriation, would seek to trivialise the issues he (Fashola) raised about the unilateral slashing of the budgetary allocation to key national infrastructure by the National Assembly.
He said the senator’s reference to the patriotism of legislators should not be spoken but demonstrated as regards his calls for a more developmental budgeting approach.
The minister said,
“In this context, it is left for Nigerians to then decide whether budgeting for constituency roads is more patriotic than budgeting to complete the Kano-Maiduguri Road that connects five states, the Lagos-Ibadan Road that connects three states and helps to move food, imported goods and fuel across the country; or the second Niger Bridge that connects the South-East and the South-West geopolitical zones of at least 11 states together.
“I will also leave Nigerians to judge whether it is more patriotic to budget for the Mambilla Power Project that will contribute to more power supply across Nigeria or reduce the budget to build street lights in legislative constituencies.”
The minister noted that the response to the issues he raised certainly should not have been accusations of his blackmailing the legislature or referring to those who shared his views as his “surrogates.”
Reiterating his respect for the parliament as a House where very vigorous debates about development should take place, Fashola advised Goje to acquire the temperament for such debate and disagreement.
The minister urged those who had just transited from the executive arm to the legislative arm to be cautious.
According to the minister, a good budget remains a necessary tool for the executive to do its work because when services are inadequate, the members of the public often look to the executive arm for answerstopics from