By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The Senate on Wednesday again cautioned the Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola for his comments over the 2017 budget and the roles of the Senate.
Following a point of order raised by the Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, the Senate advised all appointees of government to consider national interest above individual interest.
Speaking on the point of order, President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki particularly advised ministers to be mindful of their utterances.
Mr Fashola had raised the alarm that the Senate tampered with some provisions in the budget and moved money to other projects not in the plan of the executives.
Although the Senate accused him of misleading Nigerians, Fashola insisted that the action of the senate negates their function of appropriation as stipulated in the constitution.
He said that the Senate would hold stay on any action over the comments pending the outcome of the Minister’s summons by the House of Representatives.
“I am happy that the House of Representatives is also taking up this issue. It’s a matter that we must be responsible, especially those at the position of cabinet to look at issues from a national point of view and in the interest of all Nigerians.
“We will definitely wait till the outcome of his appearance before the House of Representatives before further contribution on this matter,” he said.
Earlier, the appropriation chairman of the Senate, Danjuma Goje said that he raised the point of order to advise the minister to conduct himself like a minister should.
He further advised Fashola to give the National Assembly its due respect stressing that the legislature was not Lagos State house of Assembly.
“He is not a governor and this National Assembly is not Lagos State House of Assembly.
“This is an assembly composed of very patriotic Nigerians, many have done his job, many were governors before him.
“Fashola should know that dealing with the National Assembly is not Lagos State House of Assembly. If the job is too much for him he should do the honourable thing.
“But no amount of blackmail by him, no amount of propaganda by him or by his surrogates will stop this National Assembly from discharging its duties in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We have sworn to uphold and protect this constitution and this we will do to the end of the life of this Assembly,” he said.
He therefore said that the Senae should await the outcome of the minister’s appearance in the House adding that further action would be sought if the Senate was not satisfied with the decision of the Federal Representatives.