Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Federal Government Monday counteredÂ the allegation by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, that ministers invited to the Nigeria-US Investment Summit in Washington DC last Thursday shunned the forum.
Top government officials whose absence at the forum drew the ire of the emir were theÂ Finance Minister, KemiÂ Adeosun; Central Bank Governor,Â Godwin Emefiele;Â Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; and the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
Adeosun and Emefiele had explainedÂ on Sunday that the summit was not part of their schedule and that they were only informed about it when they arrived in Washington.
In a statement he issued in London Monday, Minister of Information and Culture,Â Lai Mohammed, said most of the ministers, who the organisers named as top government officials to attend the investors meeting, were neither invited nor in Washington DC at the time of the business meeting.
On that count,Â Mohammed said the insinuation that the ministers did not attend the forum after collecting estacodes was baseless.
The minister said neither Ogbeh, Fashola nor Fayemi received any invitation from the
organisers, though they were also listed among those who were expected
”It is clear from the foregoing that no minister shunned the US-Investment Summit and that the reports being circulated in that
regard are bereft of facts,” MohammedÂ said.
According to him,Â the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, DrÂ Okechukwu Enelamah, though invited, could not attend as he was with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London at the time of the summit.
Mohammed confirmed the explanation givenÂ by Adeosun that though she was in Washington DC at the time, she was
there purposely to attend the 2018 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF.
The information minister further clarified that though he was also invited to attend the business forum, he notified the organisers in writing that he would be unable to make the trip because of conflicting schedules.