Minister of Industry Trade and Investments, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah yesterday shunned a budget defence and oversight roundtable organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Commerce to evaluate the 2017 budget performance as well as the way forward for the 2018 estimates  currently under consideration in the House.

Though the House Committee Chairman Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga and some lawmakers had expressed satisfaction with the submission made by the junior minister, HajiaAishatuAbubakar, they however insisted that the substantive minister, Dr. OkechukwuEnelemah must appear before the committee at a later date.

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In her presentation nonetheless, the Ministry, said it will pursue five strategic programs in 2018 to stimulate and sustain Government’s diversification policy.

The list includes creating enabling environment for trade and industrialization, implementation of the country’s industrialization policy as well as championing the development of micro, small and medium scale enterprises.

Under Minister of Industry, HajiaAishatuAbubakar who gave the indications at the 2018 Budget defence before the House of Representatives Committee on Commerce, yesterday, said “This budget is geared towards further repositioning and consolidating of gains already achieved in revamping the nation’s economy for sustained growth and development.

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This sector falls within the economic branch of the Federal Government’s three key areas of National re-Birth as optimized by the anti-corruption, economy and of course security.”

HajiaAbubakar noted that the ministry would partner with the lawmakers for the overall development of the country through budgeting process and oversight.

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According to her “There is no way the ministry can function without oversight either from the House of Representatives or the Senate.” The Minister added.

Reviewing the performance of the capital aspect of 2017 Budget, the Minister explained that out of the nineteen billion Naira appropriated, three billion Naira was released representing sixteen percent performance but assured the lawmakers of more success before the end of the financial year, if more releases are made.