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Xenophobia: Reps slams Foreign Minister for failing to honour invitation

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Jonas Ezieke, Abuja

…Vow to reform nation’s budgeting

…Other lawmakers condemn attack

The House of Representatives on Tuesday slammed the Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama for failing to honour its invitation to address the issue of incessant attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
Speaker of the House Hon. Femi Gbajabimilla who spoke shortly after debate on a motion on the issue of unprovoked killing of foreigners in South Africa regretted that the Minister had repeatedly refused to honour invitations by the lawmakers despite its serious nature.
He cited the provisions of sec 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and noting that the House is empowered to summon any person or authority for the purposes of investing any matter.
Other lawmakers notably Hon Abdulrazak Namdas, APC Adamawa) Hon. Nkiruka Onyejeocha APC Abia) Hon. Samuel Onuigbo (Abia, PDP) and Hon. Oniofok Luke (PDP Akwa-ibom) and many others also condemned the attack on foreigners especially Nigerians by South African Nationals in recent times.
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Meanwhile the House has assured of its readiness to improve on the nation’s budgeting process for the purposes of transparency and accountability in government.
The speaker expressed worries on the number of Nigerians who have evolved newer strategies of concealment of illicit funds in government ministries and agencies..
He said that the recently held National Roundtable was on discussions on reform of the budget process and on recovered assets
“These roundtable sessions were intended to take a critical look at issues relating to the development, enactment, funding, implementation and evaluation of the national budget
He said:’the sessions provided an opportunity for institutional stakeholders from the executive and legislature to engage one another honestly on the problems of the appropriations process and the options for addressing those problems
“It also allowed us to begin to prepare the ground for the 2020 Appropriations Bill which we expect will shortly be presented to the National Assembly by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari”.

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