ABUJA, Nigeria – Senate Committee Chairman on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi on Tuesday ordered Senate correspondents out of the 2021 budget presentation of the Niger Delta Affairs ministry after the Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio made his speech.
The lawmaker who has been facing accusations of corruption did not invite members of the Senate Press Corps to cover the 2021 Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs budget submission.
But when the Committee realised that journalists were present, they were ordered out before Committee members began interrogation of Akpabio’s submission.
“Journalists, I know you have documents already. Please excuse us”, Nwaoboshi said.
The development has however denied curious journalists from having a detailed analysis of the budget, particularly the 2020 budget performance, and how other lawmakers would react.
Earlier, the Minister lamented that the 2021 budgetary proposal of N26,592,560.040 for the ministry was grossly inadequate given the mandate and goals they were set to achieve.
“The 2021 budgetary proposal in the total sum of N26,592,560.040 is considered meagre and significantly inadequate in the face of the mandate and goals of the Ministry to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people of Niger Delta region.
“An analysis of the 2021 budget capital budget estimate reveals that the sum of N15 billion out of N19.533 billion for capital infrastructure projects was allocated to the East-West road section I-IV alone.
Akpabio further argued that inadequate funding has left a plethora of abandoned and uncompleted projects in the Niger Delta region, a situation, he added, left the negative perception of government among the people in the region.