Reduce summoning of my appointees, let them focus on their jobs, Tinubu tells Reps committees

ABUJA- President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday urged Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abass, to relax summons on heads of ministries, departments and agencies for them to concentrate on their duties.

The President’s statement came on the heels of the lower legislative committee on public accounts’ threat to obtain an arrest warrant against Central Bank of Nigeria governor Yemi Cardoso for failing to honour several invitations from the House to answer queries on alleged revenue leakages and a claim that revenue sourced through Remita for the Treasury Single Account was not being remitted. 

At the Iftar feast to break Wednesday’s Ramadan, Mr Tinubu urged Mr Abbas and his colleagues to wield their legislative authority with wisdom particularly in the manner in which summons were issued to various heads of MDAs whose absence at their duty posts could  significantly hurt the entire nation based on their vital positions.

”I have been watching various committees summoning ministers and heads of agencies. I have complained to the Speaker to let the poor breathe. Let these people do the job,” Mr Tinubu said, rebuking Mr Abbas at the programme held in Abuja.

“We are not saying you cannot do your oversight. But consider the primary duty of each agency, its personnel, or the responsibilities of the governor of the Central Bank or the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance to you and the entire nation,” the president added in a statement by his aide, Ajuri Ngelale.

The CBN governor, Cardoso and the minister of finance and coordinating minister of economy Wale Edun, were summoned last October over the decision to lift the forex ban on rice, cement, private planes, wheelbarrows, chicken and eggs.

The President noted that legislators should be able to accept documents and representatives to stand in lieu of summoned officials, giving room for flexibility in their legislative obligations so as not to impede other officials from carrying out theirs. 

“We must find a way to accommodate one another. This is an appeal to you. See if you can accept representatives in some instances or even documentations,” Mr Tinubu suggested. ”If they are distracted or disturbed, maybe we will shift parliamentary sitting all through the night.”

Mr Cardoso was also summoned by the Reps in January to explain why the nation was undergoing harrowing inflation.

The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation had rejected an appearance by Mr Cardoso’s subordinate on December 8, 2023, as the committee chair, Abubakar Kabir Bichi, insisted that Mr Cardoso must “appear in person because we are talking about the budget and how to increase our revenue.” 

Last month, the Reps Committee on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises also invited Mr Cardoso for questioning over the cancellation of N2.4 billion contracts to some manufacturing companies.

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