The Senate has debunked a statement credited to Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fasola, that the National Assembly should be held responsible for the dilapidated state of Federal roads in Benue State.
The minister reportedly made the allegation last Monday in Abuja during a courtesy call by retired generals and other leaders of thought from Benue South Senatorial District led by Air Vice Marshal Morgan Monday.
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The delegation was in Fashola’s office to complain about the deplorable state of roads in the senatorial district.
But the Senate spokesperson, Ajibola Basiru, in a statement described the claim as “fallacy of the highest order”.
Basiru said the National Assembly can not be held responsible for the dilapidated state of roads whether in Benue State or any part of the country.
He said: “The records are needed to be set right so that the two arms of government should not be seen as working at cross purposes in the course of delivering dividends and good governance to electorates.
“Putting the records straight, the Senate gave the figures of the 2020 proposal for capital expenditure as N265, 868 037,093 billion by the Executive which the National Assembly passed.
“The Executive later brought revised allocation of N256, 734,983,667 billion which we also appropriated.
“As we talk, even in the budget proposal for 2021, the Executive proposed a capital expenditure of N363, 266, 425, 976 billion.
“The Senate then wondered where the Hon. Minister got his figure of N600 billion which he said was the figure proposed to the National Assembly by his ministry and which was allegedly not supported or approved by the National Assembly.
“The Senate therefore invites Nigerians and specifically the Minister’s guests from Benue South Senatorial District to note that ‘figures do not lie'”.
On the allegation of prioritising constituency projects over other projects, Basiru affirmed that the Minister was merely calling a pity party and being sentimental, adding the statement was made to set the National Assembly on collision course with the people they are democratically representing.
“It should be emphasized therefore that never has allocations specifically meant for other projects ever been diverted to constituency projects as constituency projects are having allocations in the budget
“The Senate said that execution of the much talked about constituency projects lie within the Executive Arm of government through its various ministries, agencies and parastatals,” he added.