July 29, 2021

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House of Rep Sneers at Aviation Ministry’s Shoddy Approach to Budget Defense

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Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Honourable Nnolim Nnaji, At The Commissioning of Enugu Airport Runway

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, and his entourage to the House of Representative were turned back by the aviation committee, led by its Chairman, Nnolim Nnaji, for the un-businesslike approach to the very serious task of the ministry’s 2021 budgetary consideration by the House committee on aviation.

Senator Hadi Sirika, who led the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, in the company of six other heads of the parastatals and agencies under the ministry to the committee room in the hallowed chamber of the house, failed to forward the detail budget proposal in advance, against the directive of the legislators.

The chairman, Honourable Nnaji, had in his opening remarks at the scheduled budget meeting with the Minister and the Chief Executives of the agencies and parastatals lamented the failure of the Ministry to forward the documents at least seven days ahead, despite an earlier request to do so.

Nnolim said, “Honourable Minister, l don’t know how you expect us to continue this meeting since we just got your 2021 budget proposal this morning despite giving you over a week notice so that we can read through and digest it before today”.

Senator Hadi Sirika, Aviation Minister, at the Commissioning of Enugu Airport Runway

He lamented that “I am not blaming you for this but l must say that I’m disappointed in those who ought to have handled this but failed to do their jobs. For us to do a proper job, we need time to read through” Nnolim stressed.

The chairman noted that the 2021 budget required thorough examination and proper scrutiny because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the industry which according to him was very devastating.

He further observed that the #End SARS protest also hit the industry that was just trying to recover adding that the 2021 budget must be such that would help stabilize the industry with the provision of the required critical infrastructures.

Hence all the members were unanimous that the Minister and his team return on another day for the budget defence to enable members study both the 2021 proposal and the implementation of this year’s 2020 budget.

The Minister in his response apologized to the chairman and the committee members for the failure of his people to forward the documents ahead of the meeting and pleaded that the committee gives him another date to present the budget.

Both the committee and the ministry mutually agreed to meet on Thursday, 12th of Nov. 2020, by 11am for the budget presentation.

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