Deputy Spokesperson of House of Representatives, Philip Agbese, has knocked the Member representing Gwaram Federal Constituency of Jigawa State, Yusuf Galambi, for making a “careless” and “unpatriotic” comment about the 2024 budget proposal presented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
President Tinubu had on Wednesday, presented the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N27.5tr, representing the 2024 budget estimates, to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Galambi, a Member of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), had, during an interview with BBC Hausa Service, on Friday, accused Tinubu of presenting “empty boxes”, suggesting that, the President was not ready for budget defence but only came out to deceive the populace.
The Lawmaker, in the interview reproduced in English language, said President Tinubu read out his budget speech, including proposals for sectors, but did not give the Lawmakers the documents as was the tradition by previous presidents.
But while answering questions from journalists in National Assembly on Saturday, the House Deputy Spokesperson ascribed such a comment from his colleague to post election petition tribunal’s fatigue and lack of diligent attention during plenary.
Agbese said, “The House of Representatives has passed that stage long ago”, stressing that, “the 10th National Assembly of the House of Representatives doesn’t entertain frivolities from the executive or members of the public”.
Agbese, who represents Ado/Okpokwu/Ogbadibo Federal Constituency of Benue State, hinted that, “the Committee on Appropriation has long ago distributed the details of the budget proposal to the respective Committees”.
He added that, the relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would be invited as from Monday, to give justification for the estimates (budget defence), as soon possible.
He also assured that, “Mr. Speaker in his usual style, will monitor the activities of all the Committees during the period of scrutiny and Nigerians can be rest assured of the best from the People’s House”.
Describing the House of Representatives under Speaker Tajudeen Abass as one of the “most responsible Parliaments in the world”, Agbese said, “the statement by Rep. Galambi was not only careless, but un-parliamentary and unfortunate”.
“In fact, I blame lack of concentration, absenteeism and post election petition trauma for such a careless comment by the Honourable Member from Jigawa State. And to say the least, such an isolated comment shouldn’t have been reported by a patriotic press anywhere in the world”, Agbese added.