Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi’s absence from the House Committee on Land Transport on Tuesday stalled the ministry’s 2018 Budget defence.
The exercise, which was scheduled to hold at the National Assembly Conference Hall in Abuja, was adjourned till further notice.
Mr Aminu Sani, the Chairman of the committee, said it was its tradition not to attend to any ministry except the minister in charge was present.
He said that the committee sympathised with the minister’s state of health, even though there was no formal letter written to the committee.
Sani further adjourned the defence proceeding, stating that the committee would wait to hold the session whenever he fully recovered.
“We could have received a formal letter before now but members want the minister to attend. Everybody has prepared for the minister and majority are not in support that it should hold.
“The importance of this defence cannot be overemphasised; It’s our tradition not to take any other person except the minister; so I move that this defence should be adjourned till the minister is fit enough to attend,’’ he said.
Earlier, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said the minister was unavoidably absent because he was indisposed.
“The honourable minister could not attend because he is sick. He was in the office briefly but he could not stay, that is why I am here to represent the minister.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) budget defence could not also hold because the ministry’s budget was yet to be deliberated upon.