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BUDGET DEFENCE: Angry senators turn minister back

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BUDGET DEFENCE: Angry senators turn minister back

A joint Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation on Friday turned back the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster and Social Development, Sa’adiya Umar Faruq, from defending her ministry’s 2020 budget.

The committee was angry that the ministry failed to provide it with the hard copy of its 2019 budget.

The committee said while it would pardon the minister for being new, it would not do the same for the two special advisers to President Muhammadu Buhari, who accompanied the minister, because they knew that they ought to have forwarded the 2019 budget presentation of the ministry to the committee along with the 2020 budget.

Visibly annoyed by the action of the ministry, the chairman of the committee, Senator Lawan Yahaya Gumau, who spoke on top of his voice said, “Honourable Minister, we know you are new but the two SAs knew very well that the 2019 budget must be presented before 2020. We didn’t persuade them to bring it to the 2019 budget defence. We have tolerated them before and bring ourselves down in the interest of this country.”

He then said, “I apologised to the minister being that she was new, but for the two SAs I am not apologising”

Responding, the minister equally apologised to the committee for not providing the hard copy of the 2019 budget.

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She explained that “the hard 2020 copy of the 2020 budget submitted earlier was attached with a flash drive that contains the 2019 budget.”

At the end, the defence was rescheduled for 10:00 am on Monday, with a warning that all the budget documents must be available to the committee on the appointed date.

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