Finance minister, others shun budget performance sitting, panel kicks

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed

Sunday Aborisade, Abuja

The Minister of  Finance, Zainab Ahmed, the Director General of Budget Office,  Ben Akabueze and the Accountant General of Federation Ahmed Idris, on Thursday, failed to appear before the Senate Committee on Appropriation over the 2020 budget performance.

The Senate had also, two weeks ago invited Ahmed, Akabueze and Idris to to defend the  2020 budget performance, but they did not honour the lawmakers’ invitation.

The committee then rescheduled another budget performance meeting with the minister for Thursday , September 24.

Speaking after waiting in vain  for the trio for over one hour on Thursday, the  Chairman,  Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Jubril Barau, expressed dissatisfaction over the development.

He said the committee was not only saddled with the responsibilities of appropriatng funds, it also had the mandate to appraise  budget performance because ‘without budget implementation,  the budget is nothing’.

Barau said, “We invited the Minister of Finance and the Director General of Budget Office in order to have a brief about 2020 budget performance. This is the second time we are rescheduling  this meeting.

“We are here and we are supposed to hold this meeting two weeks ago, but we postponed the meeting at the instance of the Minister of Finance and the Director General of Budget Office.

“Today again, they are not able to come.  We were supposed to start this meeting at 2pm, but we are here 15 minutes pass 3pm. We are yet to see them.

“We don’t know the reason. We have been told that the Accountant  General is on his way,  but we have  not heard anything from the Minister of Finance.”

He added that the meeting was going to be adjourned again.


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