Fayemi/ Photo Credit: Premium Times
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday faulted the recent decision to pass a vote of no confidence on him and his Minister of State, Abubakar Bawa Bwari, by the House of Representatives for not showing up at the sectoral debate on the state of the steel sector in the country.
Recall that the lawmakers had consequent upon a motion moved by house leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, unanimously passed a vote confidence on the two ministers and the Sole Administrator of the Ajaokuta Steel Company.
But reacting to the decision in a statement through his spokesman Olayinka Oyebode, on Thursday, the minister said the move was uncalled for.
According to him, the lawmakers were intimidated of their absence from the debate, wondering why it should therefore be termed as ‘boycott’.
The statement reads: “While the offices of the two ministers have been inundated with countless media enquiries regarding their absence shortly after the pronouncement, it is important to state unequivocally that the inability of the two ministers to attend the debate was duly communicated to the leadership of the House in two separate letters.
“One then wonders why the House members took such a draconian stance against the two Ministers who have very cordial relationships with the National Assembly.
“It is rather unfair for the House members to categorise the Ministers absence as “boycott”, when they were adequately notified.
“Tolerance and moderation are essential ingredients in public service engagement. In this particular case, they appear to be in short supply and the ministry believes that there is more than meets the eye on this matter.
“After all, the Ministers are always willing to engage the honourable House and its leadership at all times. It is on record that Minister Fayemi was the first Minister to address the sectoral debate in 2016 and the Ajaokuta Steel Complex was extensively addressed on that occasion.
“Subsequently, the House Committees on Privatisation and Public Petitions held special sessions on Ajaokuta and the Minister of State, Hon BawaBwari addressed the members on those two occasions.
“Given this past record, today’s action is most unwarranted and unfortunate.”