Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, has ordered ministers and heads of parastatals to honour the invitations by National Assembly to defend their appropriation.
The order was given at the end of the meeting he had with leadership of the National Assembly led by Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
The meeting which started at 9:10pm ended at 10:36pm, took place at the First Lady Wing of the presidential villa..
The meeting has been cancelled three times before now due to what Saraki called “logistics reasons”.
Speaking after the meeting, Saraki said it was on budget, security and other issues, saying that the NASS leadership also gave the president their opinion during the interaction.
He said the president meeting gave them the opportunity to share ideas.
He said the legislature was working on the budget, noting that some agencies were yet to defend their budget. “We are hoping that with the speed up now, they will come and defend their budget,” he said.
Also speaking, the Secretary to the Government Federation (SGF) said it was an in-house meeting because they wanted to continue to build harmonious relationship.
“The president gave them update on security, economy, job creation, processes in the National Assembly especially with regards to the budget and need to conclude on and Mr. President has given instruction that all ministers and parastatals should ensure that they appear before the National Assembly to defend their submissions so that we can get this out of the way.
“You know this is a very dynamic year and there are preparation for elections and we are having quite a lot of security challenges and so if we don’t appropriate, where will the money come from?”
Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, deputy speaker, Lasun Yusuf, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila, Senator Sola Adeyeye, Senate Minority Whip, Philip Auda, House Chief Whip, Hon. Al-Hassan Dogowa, Deputy Whip, Hon. Pally Iriase among others.
All principal officers from the platform of the ruling party in both houses were present, while only Auda, came from the opposition party.
Those absent were Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Godswill Akpabio-Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha-Deputy Minority Leader and Biodun Olujimi-Deputy Minority Whip.
Those from the Executive present are, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina and the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu and Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.