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‘Defend your budget or get zero allocation’ — reps panel threatens trade minister

‘Defend your budget or get zero allocation’ — reps panel threatens trade minister
April 04
21:22 2019
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The house of representatives committee on commerce has stepped down the budget consideration of the ministry of trade and investment for the second time.

The decision was taken as a result of the ministry’s failure to appear before the committee to defend its 2019 budget.

It also threatened to approve ministry allocation for the ministry in the budget, if it fails to come to defend its budget.

Speaking on Thursday, Sylvester Ogbaga, chairman of the committee, said the defence was rescheduled following the continued absence of Okechukwu Enelamah, minister of trade and investment.

He said the minister had last week requested the committee to reschedule the budget defence for Thursday, April 4.

Ogbaga expressed concern that the minister travelled “without notifying the committee” or writing it to mandate the permanent secretary to represent him.

The chairman of the committee said there were several grey areas in the 2018 budget of the ministry which the minister needed to clarify.

He also disclosed that efforts to embark on an oversight visit to the ministry had been unsuccessful due to “some unreasonable excuses from the minister.”

The committee, therefore, issued a 24-hour ultimatum demanding the appearance of the minister or that of the permanent secretary.

A senate committee had earlier this week rejected the budget of the ministry over an alleged inclusion of a private company.

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