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Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has continued to trade words with members of the National Assembly over tampered 2017 Budget which recorded some added projects by Lawmakers.
According to the Minister, Nigeria is in big trouble if lawmakers do not understand the difference between cash and budgets.
Fashola had earlier complained that some provisions of the budget violate the nation’s constitution. The National however clapped back that the Minister was spreading ‘half-truths’ about the controversial Budget.
The former Lagos Governor who spoke in a statement signed by Hakeem Bello, his special adviser on media, said it will not be out of place to seek a resolution of the conflict between the executive and the legislators at the supreme court.
He alleged that the national assembly was more interested in small projects that are not life-changing.
In the case of the Second Niger Bridge where one of the spokespersons alleged that the provision in 2016 budget was not spent and had to be returned, Fashola said that this displays very stark and worrisome gaps in knowledge of the spokesperson about the budget process he was addressing.
Fashola said the focus on contracts by the spokesperson of the house of representatives is probably a “Freudian slip that reveals his mindset”.
He said: “Budget is not cash, it is an approval of estimates of expenditure to be financed by cash from the ministry of finance. The ministry of finance has not yet released any cash for the second Niger bridge, so no money was returned.
“Three phases of early works of piling and foundation were approved and financed by the previous government in the hope that a concession will finally be issued, which has not happened because concessionaires have not been able to raise finance.
“The continuation of early works IV could not start in May 2016 when the budget was passed because of high water level in the River Niger in the rainy season.
“The contract was only approved by the federal executive council in the