The Federal Government has denied media reports that ministers who were invited to the US-Nigeria Investment Summit in Washington, DC, on April 19, 2018, shunned the forum.
In a statement issued in London on Monday, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also said most of the ministers who were slated to attend the event were not invited and were not in Washington, DC, at the time.
Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido and the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, had criticised the ministers for allegedly being absent at the forum.
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The PDP said that the NationalAssembly should investigate the ministers for their absence at the event.
Mohammed however said that the insinuation that some ministers collected estacodes without attending the forum was baseless.
He added that the Ministers of Agriculture; Power Works and Housing and Budget and National Planning did not get any invitation from the organisers, even though they were listed among those who were expected to attend.
Mohammed said the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, who was invited, was with the President at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London at the time of the summit, while the Minister of Finance, who was in Washington, DC, at the time, was there purposely to attend the 2018 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
He said though he (Minister of Information and Culture) was invited to the forum, he wrote back to inform the organisers that he would not be able to make the trip due to conflicting schedules.
”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,” the minister said.