The House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Matters has said the non-appearance of the acting Director-General (DG) and management of the Directorate for Technical Cooperation in Africa before it was an affront to the House.
The committee insisted that the acting DG, Mahmood Adamu Yahaya, must appear before it for its Diaspora budget to be examined.
Chairman and members of the committee expressed displeasure over Yahaya’s absence at its sitting yesterday when the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, appeared before the committee.
They rejected the minister’s plea on behalf of the management that the desk officer in charge of Diaspora matters in the agency be allowed to present the budget. The agency had cited possible communication breakdown.
But Committee Chairman Titilope Akande Sodipe told the minister that the agency had been playing on the intelligence of her colleagues.
The chairman said the committee was not impressed by his first outing when he failed to bring the director in charge of Diaspora Matters.
Sodipe said: “When they first came, they told us that the person who would have briefed us was on suspension. We have since found out that the person was not on suspension. We now invited them back and they have refused to come.
“It is an affront on both the ministry and the committee because they knew that the minister was going to be here.
“The House demands that they must be here because this is not communication breakdown. We have been communicating with them since Thursday (October 31), when they last came here, and we made the position of the House very clear.”
“So, this issue will not stop here. We acknowledge your apology on their behalf, but we do not accept that there was communication breakdown.
“We believe that it was intentional and a disregard because what they are telling us is that because we will listen to the personnel on the Diaspora desk, they will not come. That is what they have made clear, and that is total disregard for the minister, the ministry and the House. “
“We have accepted your apology, but it is not acceptable. He (the DG) has to be here to represent his agency. We were not impressed by his initial visit. It is on record what happened here on his first visit. But it is important, so as not to stall the budget process, that we listen to the gentleman that is here.
“As we all know, we want Nigeria to go back to the January/December budget cyrcle and we are trying our very best as a House to ensure that we finish everything necessary on our side. I want to reiterate that this was not a communication breakdown; it is an affront on the House.”
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