The video shows how a meeting that started on a good note suddenly went sour.
When on December 19, 2013, members of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance gave Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, 50 questions on Nigeria’s current economic situation, they asked her to respond within two weeks.
A reliable source in the House told PREMIUM TIMES that the minister was, as at Monday evening, yet to respond to the questions, three days after the two-week ultimatum given by the lawmakers expired.
The source, however, said the minister could still answer the questions before the lawmakers resume from their Yuletide vacation next Monday.
However, the presentation of the questions to the minister had its own drama, with an exclusive video, sourced by PREMIUM TIMES showing the minister initially making jest of the lawmakers after they informed her of their decision to hand her the 50-question homework.
The video indicates that the controversial meeting started on a warm note with exchange of pleasantries between the executive team, led by Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala (and including the Director General of the Budget Office, Bright Okogwu) and the lawmakers led by the committee chairman, Abdulmumini Jibrin.
Despite starting on a good note, the meeting, which centred around the 2014 budget earlier presented by the minister to the House and the Senate, degenerated when the lawmakers told the finance minister not to respond to their questions on that day after she said she was ‘feeling ill’.
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said she came to the meeting ‘out of respect’ to the lawmakers as she was not healthy enough to attend.
After the presentation of the questions, however, the minister insisted she would answer the questions on that day, a request refused by the lawmakers who said they wanted her to come back when she was ‘strong and energetic.’
While the session ended on a sour note, the drama is expected to continue when Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala eventually responds to the lawmakers’ questions and appears to defend her submission.
Download video here