There was drama on the floor of the Senate, Tuesday, after Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, denied the sum of N2 billion allegedly voted for regional housing scheme by the Ministry of Finance.
The money is part of the N64.991 billion budgetary proposals for the housing sector this year.
Appearing before the Committee on Land, Housing and Urban Development, led by Senator Barnabas Gemade, APC Benue North East, to defend the 2017 budget, Fashola said the Ministry of Finance planted the said amount in the 2017 budgetary profile of the Ministry of Housing as its own initiative and not that of his ministry.
“I know as much of it as you do because it is not our initiative,” Fashola told the committee
Following Fashola’s denial, the committee ordered its clerk to write the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, to appear before it to explain the N2 billion allocation.
Fashola requested addition of N6 billion to the total budget estimate of the ministry as an appropriated vote for payment of the $11.9 million Nigeria was owing Shelter Afrik, a Housing Development and Financing Organisation which has membership in 44 African countries.
In his presentation, Fashola said other votes in the N64.199 billion 2017 budgetary proposals of the Housing Ministry, aside the questionable N2 billion earmarked for regional housing scheme, were the National Housing Progromme, N41.89 billion; construction, completion and rehabilitation of federal secretariats, N5.379 billion; Zik Mausoleum and Prototype Housing Scheme, N1.325 billion and Projects and Programmes under PPP, N3.367 billion.
Others are Cadastral URD and Lands, N3 billion; URD/Special Projects, N2.140 billion; payment of outstanding local debts, N1.2 billion; and Constituency Outreach Intervention Projects, N1.69 billion etc. The committee asked the Minister to forward a written request through the Ministries of Finance and Budget and National Planning.