2021 Budget: Reps Dismiss Ahmed, Akabueze’s Representatives
The House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology on Monday dismissed representatives of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze.
The committee had invited Ahmed and Akabueze to explain how the 2021 Appropriation Bill was designed such that proposed estimates of critical ministries, departments and agencies were slashed, especially the reduction in the budget of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
Chairman of the committee, Lynda Ikpeazu, said, “You will recall that on the 11th November, this committee embarked on budget hearings for the 2021 Appropriation Bill.
“At the end of our meetings, there was a motion and a resolution adopted by the committee to invite the Ministry of Finance headed by the minister, the DG Budget, to get some explanations and clarification on the budgeting process.
“On this note, we called for a meeting today and we asked them to appear before us. As it is, the meeting was slated for 12pm today but unfortunately they failed to show up. But the good thing is they sent a representation. This is not adequate representation.
“We need the head of the ministry and the relevant agency, which in this case is the Budget Office – the DG Budget Office and the Minister of Finance or the Minister of State.”
The Director, Expenditure, Budget Office of the Federation, Anselm Anyanwu, represented Akabueze, saying ‘he has some reasons he cannot be around to attend to you’.
Also, Alfred Okoh, who was also from the Budget Office of the Federation and represented Ahmed, said, conveyed the minister’s apology as she was attending the Nigerian Economic.
A member of the committee, Awaji-Inombek Abiante, in his remarked strongly criticised the Budget Office of the Federation as one of the country’s biggest problems.