President Buhari and VP Yemi Osinbajo meeting with Udoma Udo Udomato scrutinize the 2016 budget
Over the weekend, there was friction between the National Assembly and Presidency, over the 2016 Budget.
On Thursday, President Buhari received the full details of the budget sent to him by the National assembly and was said to have been disappointed by the rework. He was said to have told the lawmakers to urgently address the issues flagged down in the interest of the nation.
The House was accused of tampering with the budget earlier submitted by the President, rearranging funds and giving more priority to less important projects such as building of town halls, purchase of tricycles, as well as building of rural roads as against critical infrastructure.
It remains unclear, the exact amount fiddled with by the Assembly in their rearrangement but estimates put it at around N200 billion.
According to reports, the main issue of constituency projects, which lawmakers increased from N60 billion to N100 billion might lead to serious problems between the Executive and Legislative arms.
However, according to The Guardian, there have been moves to resolve the issues.
An emergency meeting was held on Thursday between of members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), and presided over by Vice President Osinbajo where it was discovered that a number of strategic projects were either removed or given less priority. During the meeting, the FEC reportedly compiled the grey areas the executive wants ironed out with legislators.
The lawmakers are also expected to hold a series of meetings this week to find a way to resolve the current impasse before President Buhari returns from his official trip to China.
Meanwhile, lawmakers from the House of Representatives have insisted that the budget was in line with the President’s change agenda, insisting that its actions were in tandem with the principles of the constitution and the policy thrust of the current administration.
Yesterday, Chairman of the House of Representatives committee on Appropriation, Dr. Abdulmumini Jibrin took to Twitter to shed more light on 2016 Budget sent by the president and the one passed by the House. He cleared the air on several topics from Ministry of Transportation budget to that of the rural areas & communities, giving reasons why Buhari’sN6. 06 trillion budget was altered. According to him, the National Assembly reallocated over a N100 billion to projects that could impact positively on the well-being of the citizenry in the polity.
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There have been mixed reactions to the House of Assembly’s altering of the budget with many faulting their removal of the certain projects. Also, others have backed the President returning the budget to the Assembly for corrections before signing.
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