SURE-P: Works Minister avoiding Senate Committee

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The minister for Works, Mr Mike Onolememen has been lambasted for failure to appear before the Senate Ad hoc Committee on SURE-P to render an account of his ministries performance in relation to extra-budgetary funding courtesy of SURE-P.

Chairman of the committee, Senate Leader Abdul Ningi took exception to the failure of the minister and his team to appear before the committee on Wednesday after keeping the committee waiting for 90 minutes.

Ningi said, “A huge amount of money, totalling over N30 billion, was allocated to the Ministry of Works under the SURE-P. We accordingly invited the minister to render an account of the activities of his ministry under the SURE-P from 2012 to 2013.

“Today (Wednesday), we sat from 2.00p.m. till about 3.30p.m., waiting to hear from them. But neither the minister, his Minister of State nor the Permanent Secretary showed up till now.

“We sent a letter to them on October 22 which they acknowledged on October 23. This showed that they are aware of today’s meeting.

“The president has appointed the wrong people into public offices. We take strong exception to any minister who thinks he or she is above the law. What they did was a display of crass lawlessness.

“I want to assure you that these ministers will not frustrate this committee. They are trying to undermine the government. By their failure to appear, they are trying to undermine the president and the Senate that cleared them.

“The job of this committee, by inviting the ministers, was for them to render an account of their activities and also state their difficulties.

“We take strong exception to any minister who thinks he is above the law. We are going to use every available legal instrument against them.

“This is the last time this committee will condone such an act from any minister who fails to honour our invitation without any genuine reason.

“By failing to appear, they are trying to shroud their activities in secrecy. We may not appropriate fund to the SURE-P any longer because of these people.

“It is no longer business as usual. People must be accountable for their actions”, he said.

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