The National Assembly yesterday assured the nation that the details of the 2016 Budget would be released in two weeks.
According to The Guardian, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Dr. Abdulmumini Jibrin while addressing newsmen denied that its position on the budget was politically motivated. He said it was unfair to accuse the federal lawmakers of politicising the issue relating to the passage of the budget.
Jibrin who said details of the 2016 budget were being worked upon and would be made available to the presidency within the next two weeks, stated that the 2016 budget was as good as a law notwithstanding the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari was yet to agree to it.
He also wondered why there were persons still ‘throwing stones’ at the National Assembly despite that the members painstakingly worked round the clock to discharge their responsibilities on the 2016 budget as stipulated by the law.
Recalling that a similar incident of the non-release of budget details occurred during the administration of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Jibrin urged Buhari to go ahead and assent to the Appropriation Bill pending when the budget details would be ready.
He said:”We have passed the budget and at the moment we are working on the details. Is the National Assembly taking responsibility for the delay in the budget passage that didn’t have details?
“There is nothing that has happened so far that is abnormal. Also, we have all read it on pages of newspapers and insinuations too including the ones in which they alleged that it was information from a top official of the presidency.
“Let me put it straight and clear that I doubt that such a statement could come from the presidency knowing fully the challenges that we went through during the budgeting process.
He added, “We would take a week or two to work on the details. Now we are looking at the reports that were submitted to the appropriation committee by the standing committees of the House. We are doing the final harmonisation checks here and there, that should take a week or two. What we have sent to the Executive is practically law and so the insinuation that there is politics, all sorts of delay etcetera is unfounded. It is absolutely false.”
Meanwhile, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, House of Representatives, Suleiman Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila, has confirmed that the presidency is yet to get the budget details.
Sumaila in a statement said there was nothing awkward in the delay to transmit the budget details.
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