Yahaya Zakka Minna
Journalists in the Niger state House of Assembly today were prevented from covering the 2021 budget review and defence of 2022 budget proposal of the Niger State Ministry of Transport.
Since the budget screening/defence begun last Monday 6th December, 2021, media have been carried along freely covering every process of the exercise, however, even today, journalists were allowed in to cover the first screening/defence exercise of the day.
Hon. Commissioner for Transport, Hajiya Ramatu ‘Yar’adua had even presented her ministry’s budget review and proposal, before the former Speaker of the House, Rt Hon. Ahmed Marafa Guni made an observation that there was a paper document he found in the Ministry’s budget which he sought clarification if it was actually from the ministry or Planning Commission, however, before the commissioner could respond, the former speaker asked media representatives to excuse them.
“Press, please, excuse us, give us 20 minutes and come back,” Marafa said.
But, less than 20 minutes after, they all came out of the screening room, however, when the press sought for the commissioner’s comments, she declined; she only said “I can’t, because we didn’t do it.”
While, the former Speaker, said “I didn’t send you away, I only asked you to give us 20 minutes, but, you didn’t come back.”
On why they suspended the screening exercise, he said the Transport Ministry presented incomplete documents