Fashola soft pedals, seeks peace with lawmakers

Apapa ports roads a priority – Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says he cannot fight members of the National Assembly because they are his personal friends.

Speaking with State House correspondents on Tuesday, Fashola said the executive and legislature mean well for the country.

He said his disagreement with the parliament was about how best to implement the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP).

“It is perhaps possible that in the heat of the moment while trying to canvass different positions we were misconstrued as fighting but I am not fighting anybody,” he said.

‎“There is no problem between me as an individual and the National Assembly. And let me make that very clear, many of the Senators and Honourable members are my personal friends, and so you don’t fight your friends.

“But we had a disagreement and it remained within the context of that disagreement. You will remember when President Muhammadu Buhari launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, he had enormous support from the leadership of the National Assembly. So, it means that we all agree there is a problem.

“We had a disagreement it shouldn’t make us disagreeable.  So my responsibility is to continue to engage.

“Also, even if I wasn’t a Minister, I am a citizen also. So, the parliamentarians are also representing me. So these are the issues and if I have been misunderstood; my intention was not to quarrel with anybody but to see a better Nigeria, which I believe they also want to see,” he said.

The minister also dismissed insinuations that the disagreement may delay implementation of the 2017 budget.

“A disagreement, yes, a very healthy disagreement. Don’t forget we are not disagreeing on who should head what, who should take what share of the national cake but we are disagreeing on how to develop Nigeria,” he said.

“And for me, that is a very healthy development of our democracy. I’m sure with the leadership of the national assembly- Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the principal officers and the Acting President, we will resolve this in the ultimate interest of the Nigerian people.”

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