The Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolemenmen has insisted that he never refused to appear before the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme.
In a press statement signed by his Media Assistant, Tony Ikpasaja, Onolemenmen explained that he was part of the President’s entourage which visited Israel as at the time the Senate Committee was sitting.
He rejected insinuations that he refused to honour the invitation of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee.
The statement also added that the minister proceeded to Germany on another official assignment at the conclusion of the President’s visit to Israel.
The Senate Committee on Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE–P) had threatened to use every available legal instrument against the Minister for failing to appear before it.
The committee had invited the Minister to appear before it to explain how the ministry spent the sum of about N30 billion SURE-P funds from 2012 to 2013.
Chairman of the panel, Senator Abdul Ningi, at the meeting regretted that despite the invitation letter to the minister which was duly acknowledged, he refused to appear before the committee.
According to him, “a minister of this government cannot refuse to appear before any committee of the National Assembly, let alone of a senate committee that is saddled with the responsibility of unfolding a programme that is not clearly defined to Nigerians.”