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National Assembly soft pedals on budget

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National Assembly soft pedals on budget

National Assembly soft pedals on budget
April 25
05:03 2016

The chairman of the Appropriation committee of the Senate, Senator Danjuma Goje and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin, have appealed to their colleagues in the National Assembly to reopen discussion on the 2016 budget.

President Muhammadu Buhari, last week sent his observations and requests on the Appropriation Bill, as passed by the National Assembly, to the lawmakers.

In a jointly signed statement yesterday, Goje and Jibrin, said: “Given the foregoing, and all factors considered, we hereby state that we have had enough controversy over the 2016 budget.

“What is needful right now is a resolution of the differences and to that end, we call on our colleagues in the National Assembly to accede to the request by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, to have a second look at the details and make the necessary adjustments so that he can assent. This, in our opinion, should not go beyond this week.”

The committee chairmen regretted what they described as a deluge of misinformation, misrepresentation and innuendoes about the roles played by the appropriation committees in the two legislative chambers in the course of passing the controversial budget.

“Even though most of the allegations, especially those specifically levelled against the two of us, as chairmen of the committee, are unfounded, we intend to respond to them at the appropriate time.”

The statement went on: “For now, what we consider important is to resolve the impasse around the budget and get it assented to so that its implementation can begin in the interest of all Nigerians.

“However, we must put it on record that the details aggregated and transmitted to the executive are largely the inputs we received from the standing committees of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.”

The two lawmakers said consultations were already ongoing between the executive and the legislature on the document returned by President Buhari.

“A debate about who is right or wrong is unhelpful in the circumstance; and in any case, does not advance the cause of our country men and women whose interest we have been elected to serve.

“Nevertheless, we must commend President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara and the entire members of the National Assembly, members of the Federal Executive Council, the minister of Budget and the budget team for their cooperation even as we assure all Nigerians that we will do everything to protect and defend their interest, at all times,” the statement added.

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