The House of Representatives Committee on Civil Society Organisations and donor agencies has stated that a 48-hour ultimatum be given to Mr Clem Agba, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, to appear before it. Hon. Kabir Idris, the committee chairman, declared this during the committee’s session on Tuesday.
Mr Clem Agba, who was absent was represented by Oluseyi Fatuyi, a Director of the ministry and Abdullahi Yakubu, an assistant Director. Hon. Kabir said the Minister has refused to appear before the Committee on CSOs after series of invitation letters issued to his office.
Fatuyi responded on behalf of his representative. He apologized to the lawmakers stating that his absence from the meeting was not intentional:
‘Our minister has always expressed readiness to attend this meeting, so we are very sorry sir. In respect of his inability to properly communicate to the Committee, (here is) a letter of his absence. We are sorry because it is not intentional. It is just that something came up today and he had to delegate us. Up till last night, he was to make it.’
Hon. Elisha Simon Karu (APC, Gombe) however expressed the committee’s grievance over Mr Clem’s nonchalant attitude. He said that the minister refusal to honor the invitation was unacceptable as the ongoing EndSARS protest across the country has made the youths direct their anger at lawmakers.
‘I do not intend to disrespect you or your office in any way but Nigerians are there on the street calling the National Assembly out for the failure of our system. So we will not attend to anyone other than the minister to appear himself, we would not accept anything less’, he emphasized.
‘The investigation of the committee is being delayed by the non-appearance of the minister”, he said. There is no need continuing without the person in charge of the Ministry being here. We have a cordial relationship with the executive, but we must be respected’.
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