National Assembly Postpones Budget Passage Indefinitely

The Senate and the House of Representatives committees on Appropriation said on Tuesday that the plan to pass 2016 budget this February has run into a hitch.

Chairmen of the two committees, who briefed newsmen in the Senate wing of the National Assembly, said that the budget document as presented by the executive was full of errors and padding.

Senator Danjuma Goje, who chairs the Senate Committee on Appropriation and Honourable Abdumumin Jubril, who spoke at the joint sitting, said that the plan to pass the budget on February 25 is no longer feasible.

The lawmakers said that it became imperative to explain to Nigerians that the committees of the National Assembly have been having a tough time collating the errors and padding injected into the budget.

According to the lawmakers, the committees have been battling inconsistencies in the figures plus some funds deliberately padded into the budget document.

They stated that the imbalance from the capital allocation and controversies concerning the entire figure of the budget made it impossible for the Senate and the House of Representatives to pass the budget as planned on February 25.

Senator Goje said: “We are here in connection with the ongoing processing of the 2016 budget defence and because these two committees are the ones saddled with the production of the final copies of the budget that would be passed by the two houses for onward submission to Mr President for his asset and subsequent implementation.”

Honourable Jubril who also spoke at the venue said that the observed imbalances in the budget have affected the consideration at the National Assembly.

He said: “Because of the observed instances that are being reported from the beginning of the budget submission, there are a lot of controversies surrounding the budget. We feel that we have to come here, interact with you, make some clarifications so that Nigerians will know the correct situation of things regarding the 2016 budget.

“We designed a timetable for the consideration and passage of the budget and that we will pass the budget on February 25, but as you are all aware, a lot of issues have come up and even the executive arm of government has also come out to accept the fact that there has been a lot of errors in the budget.”

Senator Goje said that some ambiguities in the budget have to be carefully studied so that the budget is not thrown back at the Senate Committees.
Goje further said: “We want to remove all ambiguities. We want to remove all padding. We want to produce a budget that is in line with the constitutional provision.

“So, in summary, the timetable for the passage of the budget is no longer realistic because appropriation committees of both chambers of the National Assembly need additional time to be able to do a thorough job for the 2016 budget.”

Goje also said that there have been series of complaints about capital allocations which he said raised a lot of concerns.

%d bloggers like this: