There was altercation between the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Abdul-Mumini Jibrin, leading to members of the committee walking out.
Dr Okonjo-Iweala, who doubles as the Coordinator of the Economy, was billed to brief the committee on the state of the economy shortly after laying the 2014 budget before the two chambers of the National Assembly on Thursday.
But, rather than going ahead to brief the committee and answer questions, the minister said she was feeling sick, requesting to meet with the committee at a later date.
However, the committee chairman while declaring the session closed, said he would hand over some questions to the minister numbering about 50 for her to respond to when she returns to the House.
On hearing this, Okonjo-Iweala made a u-turn and chose to answer the questions to which the committee chairman insisted would be issues for another day.
“Listen, you can decide what will happen only in the Ministry of Finance but not in the Committee of Finance. You will go, give us a written explanation after two weeks.
“We will take your written explanation and study it then we will invite you for a proper engagement. That is the ruling of the committee. Thank you for coming,” the chairman hit the gavel, declaring the session closed.
The Finance Minister would however not allow what she described as disrespect for a Minister of the Federal Republic to go without firing back.
She insisted on saying something even after the chairman had hit the gavel. “When you invite ministers, you have to treat them with respect. We have human rights. We cannot come here to this house and be abused”.
The visibly angry minister also said she would pour out her mind to the public later.