By Femi Ogunshola
Abuja, Nov. 16, 2020 The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream/ Downstream), and Gas Resources on Monday adjourned sitting following the failure of the State Minister for Petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva, to appear before it.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was also scheduled to appear before the committee along with the minister. Both failed.
Naija247news reports that the minister and the NNPC GMD were billed to defend the 2021 budget proposal before the committee.
NAN reports that members of the committee were made to sit for over an hour waiting for the arrival of the duo, to no avail.
NAN also reports that seats meant for members were all filled up with lawmakers anxiously waiting for the invitees to show up to defend the 2021 budget proposal.
The situation was at variance with normal legislative practice where heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were usually seated before the arrival of the House committee members.
Angered by the delay and the endless waiting, the lawmakers became uncomfortable with the situation and urged the chairman of the committee to call for adjournment.
Rep Musa Sarkin-Adda, the chairman of the committee, quickly reacted to the development.
“My dear colleagues, we have been here for the budget defence of the petroleum ministry, but the minister has sent word that he was summoned to the Villa by Mr President.
“Seated by my right is my elder brother and leader, Rep Nicholas Mutu, Chairman, Gas; to my immediate left is Rep Abdullahi Mahmoud Gaya, chairman, Upstream.
“The minister called a while ago to say that he was summoned to the villa by Mr President. It is our belief that he is still with Mr President,” he said.
Naija247news gathered that the minister and the GMD later showed up at the venue of the budget defence after the House chairman had adjourned till a later date
By Femi Ogunshola