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Budget Faces Fresh Hurdle At National Assembly

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Legislators have delayed forwarding the 2017 budget to the presidency for assent after allegations of illegal alterations were raised by some members yesterday. The two chambers of National Assembly passed the budget Thursday after several months of delay.

However, it was gathered that the allegations are already creating ripples among some senators.

Many of them are said to be calling for the document to be properly scrutinised and the illegal insertions weeded out before it is presented to the presidency for assent.

Accusing fingers are being pointed at the Senate works committee as being responsible for the alterations lately discovered in the budget. The committee is headed by Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano) who is said to be outside the country at the moment and therefore could not be reached for comment.

Some senators claim projects approved for their constituencies are now missing in the budget just passed by the National Assembly.

Senators are also piqued that the works committee inserted into the budget projects for Trunk B and Trunk C roads which are entirely the responsibilities of the states and local governments.

“I know of some senators that have complained bitterly about it. He (Gaya) inserted even local governments’ roads in the budget. There are instances that state roads were also inserted. How can one do that? Those roads are the exclusive rights of states and local governments.

“Again, some senators complained that he tempered with their proposals for federal road projects domiciled in their senatorial districts. This is something that they’re already looking at even at the Senate level before forwarding the document to the Executive for assent,” a source familiar with the matter told Daily Trust yesterday.

“This is what is delaying the budget submission. But besides that, the National Assembly needs to have a clean copy without mistakes before sending it to the Executive,” the source added.

Source: DailyTrust


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