The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has dismissed insinuation that his face-off with the National Assembly was confrontational.
Mr. Fashola spoke with State House correspondents on the side-line of the Presidential Quarterly Business Forum held at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said that he was not fighting the lawmakers but only had disagreement with them, pointing out that he had many friends among them.
The minister, however, said having many friends among them would not stop the right thing from being done.
“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 have a disagreement.
“You will remember when President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated 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.
“There is also disagreement which I don’t think should make us disagreeable about the best way to implement that plan and I think that is all there is to it.
“It is perhaps possible that in the heat of the moment while trying to canvass different positions we are misconstrued as fighting but I am not fighting anybody. We have 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 added.
Mr. Fashola dismissed the assertion that his disagreement with the lawmakers may delay the presentation of budget virement and the 2018 budget to the National Assembly.
“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. And for me that is a very healthy development of our democracy.
“I’m sure with the leadership of the National Assembly, House of Representatives, the principal officers and the Acting President, we will resolve this in the ultimate interest of the Nigerian people.”