By Ifeanyi Nwoko
The Senate on Wednesday called on the minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, to immediately withdraw his comment that the Senate was delaying infrastructure development.
In a statement by the Senate’s spokesperson, Aliyu Sabi, the Senate said it was not delaying any construction and that the minister told a lie.
Mr Amaechi had during a townhall meeting in Ilorin, Kwara state said the construction of Lagos-Ibadan and Ibadan-Ilorin-Minna-Kano rail lines was being delayed by the refusal of the National Assembly to sign the loan request by the federal government.
Mr. Sabi stressed that the statement was false and a misrepresentation of facts.
He said the statement portrayed the minister as not in tune with the position of the government in which he is serving.
“As at today, the only request for approval from the Executive for loan was the one dated January 27, 2017 and signed by Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo seeking a “resolution of the National Assembly For the Issuance of USD 1 Billion EuroBond In the International Capital Market For The Funding of the 2016 Budget Deficit” and we immediately granted the approval.
“Also, in the letter quoted above, the Government mentioned the two rail lines cited by the minister as part of the projects for which the EuroBond will be utilised. So, we cannot understand what the grouse of Mr Amaechi is.
“We view that statement based on false and misinformed premise strongly as a mere attempt to incite the people against the National Assembly.
The minister should therefore withdraw that statement. Furthermore, the National Assembly will take up the matter with the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo.
“As a former Speaker of a state House of Assembly, we believe that a minister like Amaechi should always check his facts and refrain from making unguarded and inciting remarks against the legislature,” he said.
Mr Sabi said what Nigeria needed now was for all arms of government to work together to create the synergy necessary to take Nigeria out of the present economic crisis.
He said such comment designed to infuriate one arm of government or incite the people against another arm of the government will do no any good.
“We do not expect such statements from a minister in the present government,” he added.