Rumble as Reps, Amaechi brainstorm on Chinese loans

Mild drama ensued at the House of Representatives on Monday August 17, 2020, as the lawmakers resumed probe of Chinese loans for development of the rail sector.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Chairman of the House Committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreement, Ossai Nicholas Ossai, openly disagreed on contents of the loans and other procedures for execution, The Nation reports.

Ossai also would not allow Committee members ask questions, constantly cutting them short as he insisted he was in charge.

Amaechi also constantly refused to be guided in his response to Ossai’s questions, maintaining he was asking one question in three different ways.

Amaechi told the committee that the Lagos /Calabar rail line would not be possible because the House was probing the loans, which were yet to be secured.

He added at the moment, there was no contract because there was no loan.

He insisted that the project was important to the South South region to which Ossai replied the issue at hand was not about a region but Nigeria.

He warned the minister against serving sectional interests.

Attempts by Wole Oke to guide the process and ensure rancour- free exercise was rebuffed by Ossai who ruled him out of order, insisting he was in charge and cannot guided.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila who walked into the hearing room 028 as the drama was unfolding, however, halted the process midway.

He called for a short break apparently to calm nerves.

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