Senate and House of Representatives Appropriation Committees have sent details of the 2016 Appropriation Bill to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa.
for onward transmission to the President Muhammadu Buhari.
It would be recalled that the National Assembly finally passed a budget of N6.06tn on March 23, 2016, with a reduction of N17 billion..
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by chairmen of both Committees Senator Danjuma Goje and Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin.
Giving rational for delays in sending the document to the Presidency, they posited that it the extra weeks was for the committees to could correct all the inconsistencies in the do budget.
“Fortunately, President Muhammadu Buhari, who we must commend for showing leadership, intervened and that helped in resolving what had become a serious logjam,’’ the statement read.
Besides, it added that “Being the most important economic policy tool of government, the budget provides a comprehensive statement of our priorities as a nation.
“And as representatives of the people, the National Assembly remains the appropriate place to ensure that the details of such a document best match our national goals and aspirations.
“Therefore, what we have been doing in these past few weeks is to balance the projections for revenue against the estimates for expenditure based on the reality of our situation today.’’
Furthemore, it recalled that “Unfortunately, that task has been made very difficult by the sloppy manner in which the 2016 Appropriation Bill was prepared by the executive such that many of the officials who came before our various committees practically disowned the inputs from their own departments and ministries.
“In most instances, and across several agencies, the bill that was initially presented to us failed in many respects to connect with the policy thrust of the government and the needs of our people.
“That is aside the fact that most of the figures simply did not just add up. It was one of the most controversial budgets that ever came to the National Assembly from the Executive.
“Some officials in the executive branch have also been removed from their duty posts because of these glaring lapses. That happened because the president took direct responsibility and got involved in the process, not only to ensure synergy between the executive and the legislature but also so that we could both arrive at a budget that is implementable for the good of all Nigerians.
“However, it is important to stress that this is the first time we would have a transition from the ruling political party to the opposition, so some of these problems are understandable,’’ added.
“We specifically urge the president to abide strictly with provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act which stipulates that the appropriation bill be presented early so that there could be sufficient time for interactive sessions between the executive and the legislature before the commencement of committee hearings,” it emphasised.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that Honourable Jibrin had last week said they would transmit the details of the 2016 budget to the executive in two weeks time.
He explained that the president could still go ahead and signed the budget even without the details.
Jubrin cited similar case during President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure, adding that he went ahead to sign the budget without the details.
He hinted that besides the series of challenges they encountered in the budget, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, came very late.
The committee chairman, however, said it was not abnormal for the president not to sign the budget without seeing the budget details.

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