The Senate Committee on Senate Committee on Trade, Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment has raised serious objections to the Ministry of Trade and Investment’s proposed allocation of a staggering N1 billion budget for a Geneva trip.
During the defence of the 2024 Budget, Minister of Trade, Industry, and Investment Doris Nkiruka-Anite Uzoka faced intense scrutiny as she revealed the substantial budgetary provisions for the Geneva trip within the ministry’s proposal.
At the meeting, Senator Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo state, vehemently criticized the proposed budget as excessive and wasteful of public funds.
The former All Progressives Congress national chairman also urged the minister to reconsider the trip and instead utilize the expertise available within the ministry to cut costs.
“I see that you intend to travel to Geneva next year, and you have budgeted over one billion Naira for that. We can’t keep going on with over-bloated teams on abroad trips. Use the experts we have in your offices in that country to save cost,” said Oshiomhole.
Furthermore, Oshiomhole accused the minister of frequently abandoning her duties, alleging constant presence at the Bank of Industry instead of attending to her office responsibilities.
“Madam, sit in your office and work for Nigerians. I have gone there twice. You are always in the BOI. If you preferred BOI, you should have declined the President’s nomination to be minister,” he asserted.
Earlier, the minister presented the ministry’s commitment to economic growth, job creation, and various ongoing programs aimed at industrialization and investment attraction.
However, the absence of concrete trade balance data and Oshiomhole’s insistence that such data exist within other government agencies brought the ministry’s data management into question.