OrderPaperToday – The relationship between the parliament and the executive nosedived again this week, as the House of Representatives passed a vote of no confidence on the Minister of Mining and Steel Development, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, and his Minister of State, Mr. Bawa Buhari, for failing to honour an invitation from the House to a sectoral debate.
The House also resolved to setup an ad hoc committee to investigate the defunct Ajaokuta Steel Company.
The Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, who read the letter sent and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, stated that both Ministers were out of the country to represent the Ministry on different assignments.
However, the absence of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who later sent a message indicating she would be coming late, infuriated the lawmakers as this was not the first time she was flouting an invitation to the House.
The Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos), condemned the action of the cabinet members and moved that the House setup up an investigative panel to look into the Ajaokuta crisis.
“I will suggest, this House investigate Ajaokuta Steel Company and I would also like to appeal that the Minister of Mining and Steel Development be given another opportunity to appear before the House. I, therefore, move for a motion of no confidence on the said Ministers.”
Agreeing with the Majority Leader, Mr. Nkem Abonta (PDP, Abia) said, “it is sad for a Minister to display this form of rascality there has to be a sanction, we seem to be trivializing these issues. We have said time without number that we have incompetent ministers. I think we should order the arrest of the Ministers.”
Mr. Zakari Mohammed (APC, Kwara) added: “What the Ministers have done is mark of disrespect [to] the legislature and the Nigerian people. I don’t think we should look into their budget.”
The moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company Limited has attained 98% completion and would save the company over N17 billion in foreign exchange and create over 2 million jobs. Findings also show that 40 out of the 43 components have been completed.