THE Senate was on Monday shocked when the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, before its very eyes denied in totality the sum of N2billion allegedly voted for Regional Housing Scheme by the Ministry of Finance out of the N64.991billioin budgetary proposals for the Housing sector this year.
Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja when appeared before the Senator Barnabas Gemade Gemade, APC Benue North East, led Senate Committee on Land, Housing and Urban Development to defend the 2017 Budget, the Minister who disowned the vote, said that the Ministry of Finance planted it into the 2017 budgetary profile of the Ministry of Housing as its own initiative tagged: Regional Housing Scheme.
Fashola at the briefing, however requested the committee to add N6billion to the total budget estimate of the Ministry as an appropriated vote for payment of the $11.9million Nigeria is owing Shelter Afrik, a Housing Development and Financing Organisation which has in its membership, 44 African Countries, adding that as one who presently Chairs the governing board of the organization on the slot of Nigeria, indebted nations like Nigeria were set to be expelled from the organization by the end of this year if they refuse to pay up their dues to avoid total collapse of the development organization.
The Minister disowning the N2billion allegedly voted for Regional Housing Scheme by the Ministry, came when the committee Chairman, Senator Barnabas Gemade requested to know how they came about the regional housing scheme.
Fashola said: “I know as much of it as you do because it is not our initiative”.
Following the denial, Gemade then ordered the committee clerk to write the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun to appear before it for explanation on the questionable vote as well as tell the Committee what she knows about the allocation of N2billion which Fashola disowned.