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The Minister of Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, on Monday, failed to show up for the budget defence at the House of Representatives Committees on Petroleum (Upstream, Downstream) and Gas Resources.
Members of the committee numbering more than 50 were made to sit for more than an hour waiting for Kyari and Sylva’s arrival, but they never showed up.
The lead Committee Chairman, Hon. Musa Sarkin-Adda, noticing that his colleagues were no longer comfortable with the situation, decided to address everyone.
He announced that the minister, who earlier confirmed to all three chairmen of his willingness to appear, didn’t come because he was summoned to the Villa by Mr President.
He said: ‘My dear honourable colleagues, we have been here today for the budget defence of petroleum with the minister who said he was summoned to the Villa by Mr President. Seated by my right is my elder brother and leader, Hon. Nicholas Mutu, Chairman Gas, and to my immediate left is my younger brother but leader in the House, Hon. Abdullahi Mahmoud Gaya, Chairman Upstream. Although he called a while ago to say that he was summoned to the villa by Mr President, and it is our belief he’s still with Mr president.”
Sarkin-Adda thereby suggested that they adjourn the meeting sine die pending when the minister is ready to make an appearance.