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The Permanent Secretary was criticized by the Kogi Assembly for his refusal to present for the defense of the 2024 budget

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On Saturday, the House of Assembly of Kogi State extended a second invitation to the Ministry of Solid Minerals to appear before it on the following Tuesday in order to defend its budget estimate for the year 2024.

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The Director-General of the Kogi State Solid Mineral Development Agency has also been re-invited to appear before the house.

Following the absence of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry and the Director-General of the agency, the instruction was delivered at the Assembly complex by the Chairman of the House Standing Committee on Solid Minerals, the Honorable Omotayo Adeleye Ishaya.

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It was noted by the Committee Vice Chairman, Hon. Jibril Abu, who is currently the member for the Ajaokuta State Constituency. He stated that if the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, could appear before the hallow Chamber to present the State budget, then there is no reason for some heads of MDAs to fail to show.

“It is a huge smack in the face to see some heads of MDAs disrespecting the power that has been constituted in this hallow Chamber. Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the most prominent citizen of Kogi State, announced that he will stop the services of the state in order to deliver the budget for the year 2024.

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This Assembly was respected by him because he has a deep-seated faith in the principle of the rule of law. We are, however, quite dissatisfied with the fact that certain heads of MDAs are undermining our authority by sending their subordinates to defend the budget that they have only a passing familiarity with understanding. I mean, for crying out loud, the Chief Accounting Officer is a Permanent Member.

The technical defense of their budget was attended by all of the MDAs; hence, given that the Governor has presented the draft budget to the House, there is no justification for any MDA Head to remain absent from AMBER while they wait for the invitation from the House to defend their budget.

“While we acknowledge that the Kogi State Commissioner for Solid Minerals, Hon. Bashiru Gegu, is absent for a state function that was properly communicated to us earlier, it is completely unacceptable and a source of great condemnation that the Permanent Secretary, who is also the Chief Accounting Officer of the ministry, did not appear before us to defend their budget. In an act of unparalleled magnanimity, the House of Representatives has made the decision to provide them yet another opportunity to come before them on Tuesday, December 19th, 2023. In the event that they do not show up, this House of Representatives will record a budget of zero for the Ministry of Solid Minerals in the state of Kogi,” Abu pointed out.

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