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NNS Aradu: Senate suspends Defence budget over minister’s refusal to honour summon

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NNS Aradu: Senate suspends Defence budget over minister's refusal to honour summon

Senate has suspended the consideration of the 2023 budget for the Ministry of Defence over the failure of the minister, Bashir Magashi to honour invitations from its adhoc committee on the resuscitation of Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS Aradu), which is the largest on the fleet of the Navy.

The decision was reached on Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Defence after an interjection by former Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC Kebbi North), while drawing the attention of other members of the committee to an earlier action of the Senate summoning the minister to appear before its adhoc committee to give explanations concerning the Naval ship.

According to Abdullahi, a motion was raised on the floor of the senate chamber in February on the need to resuscitate the NNS Aradu, which is Nigeria’s flagship and most powerful in the fleet of Nigerian Navy.

NNS Aradu: Senate suspends Defence budget over minister's refusal to honour summon

He reminded the lawmakers that Senate subsequently set up an adhoc committee chaired by him to interface with the minister with a view to finding ways to resuscitate the grounded NNS Aradu.

Senator Abdullahi said the Magashi has refused to honour all the three invitations forwarded to him by his adhoc committee in the last three months.

He informed that the powerful naval ship is owned by only three countries in the world, Germany, Argentina and Nigeria.

According to him, the ship is designed to protect Nigeria’s territorial integrity, pointing out that while other countries have maintained their flagship that represents the strength of the navy, that of Nigeria remained grounded.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, who also spoke extensively on the need to urgently resuscitate the Navy ship, subsequently asked the Minister of Defence to go with the budget and return only after he had cleared himself with the adhoc committee.

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