Aisha Alhassan, the minister of women affairs, has blamed consistent blackout at the Federal Secretariat for delay in submitting necessary documents for the 2017 budget defence to the House of Representatives.
Alhassan, disclosed this before the House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development on Tuesday, February 21, in Abuja, NAN reports.
She said: “The challenge we had is that, sometimes at the secretariat, we stay for three, four, five weeks without light; right now, this is the third week that we have stayed without light.
“The permanent secretary and I had to raise money personally to buy diesel at the Women Centre to do it.
“At the time, because there was no light we couldn’t retrieve data from the desk top computers.
“Unfortunately, we did not have the data in flash drives, so it was partly our fault and partly not ours.
“But all I can say is that, honourable chairman, we sincerely apologise. We are very sorry for that and it will not repeat itself.’’
Earlier, Stella Uchenna (Enugu-PDP), the chairman of the committee decried the lateness of the submission by the ministry despite the several notice.
Uchenna said there is the need for more cooperation between the MDA’s and national assembly committees.
She said: “On January 30, we requested that you send to us the budget implementation of 2016, the document didn’t reach us. Then on February 9, we wrote a reminder and still we did not get a reply.
“And because we were short of time, we now wrote requesting for the budget performance for 2016 and the proposal for 2017, and we got the centre and the ministry yesterday.’’
Uchenna noted that an early submission of documents would have availed the committee time to understudy them before budget defence.
Although, the ministry presented the 2016 budget performance, the committee noted numerous errors and requested that the document be reproduced and sent back to it.