The Federal Government, at the weekend, said Senate President Bukola Saraki has since his emergence as leader of the upper legislative chamber persistently frustrated the developmental efforts of the Muhammadu Buhari administration through deliberate delay of annual budgets.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who revealed this in an interview with journalists at the weekend in Lagos, dismissed the claim by the Senate President that he was not considered by the President in appointments.
He also described as untrue, the claim by Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, while announcing his defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that his state was starved of Federal Government projects by the Buhari administration.
His words: “We have a National Assembly in which we had a clear majority in both houses, but which treated the executive with contempt and which actually slowed down the work of government.
In 2016, 2017 and 2018, our budgets were delayed. We can understand 2015 budget because we came on board in the middle of the year. But in 2016 and 2017, the earliest we got our budgets was June.
“Key appointments, nominations and confirmations for key organisations that could move the government forward like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), were delayed.
Really, it couldn’t have been worse if the PDP had a majority in the National Assembly.” On Saraki’s claim on appointments, the minister said: “I think it is a blatant lie that Kwara State was not considered in appointments.
There are 26 appointees to boards, parastatals, either as members or directors- general to Kwara State and of these 26, I recommended only two. The other 24 were done by Saraki.
“In terms of development, the Ilorin-Jebba- Mokwa-Birnin Gwari road is 80 per cent completed. On the other hand, it is this same government that awarded the contract for Lokoja-Omu Aran-Ilorin road.
In terms of housing, we are building many two bedroom houses in Ilorin. Again, in terms of appointment, one of the chairmen of parastatals is the out-gone chairman of APC in Kwara State, Ishola Balogun-Fulani. So, Saraki’s claim is a blatant lie.”