Following a recent fallout between the Minister of power,works and housing, Babatunde Fashola and the National Assembly (NASS) over the 2017 budget, the Minister has denied having problems with the legislators.
Fashola had accused the lawmakers of inserting projects in his ministry ‘s budget and also sabotaging the completion of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
While addressing State House Correspondents during the quarterly Presidential business Forum at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the minister described the rift with the lawmakers as mere disagreements.
His words : “There is no problem between me as an individual and the National Assembly. And let me make that very clear, many of the senators and honourable members are my personal friends, and so you don’t fight your friends.
“But we have a disagreement. And the context of that disagreement. You will remember when President Muhammadu Buhari launched the economic recovery and growth plan, he had enormous support from the leadership of the National Assembly. So it means that we all agree there is a problem. There is also disagreement which I don’t think should make us disagreeable about the best way to implement that plan and I think that is all there is to it.
“It is perhaps possible that in the heat of the moment while trying to canvass different positions we are misconstrued as fighting but I am not fighting anybody. We have a disagreement it shouldn’t make us disagreeable.
“So my responsibility is to continue to engage. Also even if I wasn’t a minister, I am a citizen also so the parliamentarians are also representing me. So these are the issues and if I have been misunderstood my intention was not to quarrel with anybody but to see a better Nigerian which I believe they also want to see.
He assured that the disagreement would be resolved by all the actors involved in the interest of the Nigerian people.
“Again I say the words that we use portends potentially redirects our attention from what the real issue is. I don’t think a feud is the right word to use. A disagreement yes, a very healthy disagreement.
“Don’t forget we are not disagreeing on who should head what, who should take what share of the National came but we are disagreeing on how to develop Nigeria. And for me that is a very healthy development of our democracy.”