More revelation as 2016 Budget details split National Assembly

By Post Nigeria April 3, 2016 12:38

More revelation as 2016 Budget details split National Assembly

The National Assembly may not forward details of the 2016 Budget to President Muhammadu Buhari anytime soon, following fresh crisis among Senators and House of Representative members, the Nation has confirmed.

Report emerged on Saturday, April 2, that the budget details are known only to a few members of the Appropriation Committees of both chambers.

This has not gone down well with other National Assembly members who are shocked that some legislators are more favoured than others in the affairs of the legislature.

The Nation gathered that many principal officers are angry with Senate President, Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, for not calling the Chairmen of the Appropriation Committees, Alhaji Danjuma Goje (Senate) and Jibrin Abdulmumin (Reps) to order.

After a delay of about three months, the National Assembly on March 23, passed the 2016 budget of N6.06 trillion, down from the N6.077 trillion proposed by the executive.

However, President Buhari declined to assent to the Appropriation Bill, because the details were not attached.

Sources in the National Assembly said that most Senators and House of Assembly members were only given a summary of the budget, without details.

Attempts by Senators and Representatives all week to have the details, failed, it was gathered.

A principal officer, speaking on the issue yesterday said: “Senators and Representatives are split on the 2016 budget. As I talk to you, most Senators and Representatives have not been given the details of the budget. What the Appropriation Committee made available to each chamber was the summary.

“Only a few privileged members of the committee or favourites have access to the details. So, the President was right in insisting on the details before signing the budget into law. He has the backing of some Senators and House of Representatives.

“How can I be a Principal Officer without access to the details of the budget? Some of us are being reduced to passengers in the administration of the National Assembly.

Related: Why Saraki, Dogara refused to forward details of 2016 Budget to Buhari

Another Principal Officer said: “There is tension in our midst, we are becoming agitated too. You don’t run the legislature as a personal thing. What is personal about the budget that you are hiding from the leadership?

“Some of us are worried that we are being treated like kids by the Appropriation Committees of the two chambers. Under normal circumstances, we are not supposed to be running after the committee chairmen.

“Our position is that the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara should call Goje and Jibrin to order.”

A high-ranking Senator said: “It is true that we don’t have the details but we are watching the development. Some Senators are unperturbed because they want everything to collapse.

“This unhealthy politics on budget details may lead to a deeper crisis among us unless Saraki and Dogara act wisely in check mating Goje and Jibrin.”

A member of the House of Representatives said: “There is a lot of suspicion surrounding the budget details. I think the details are being used to fight a proxy war.

“Whatever it is, the nation will be worse for it. It is actually absurd to ask the President to adopt the PDP model of signing the budget before getting the details. We agreed to do things differently this time around and the Appropriation Committees in the two chambers should adhere to the new era.”

An opposition member of the House said: “If there is trust between the Executive and the Legislature, I don’t see anything wrong with the President in signing the Appropriation Bill into law without the details. This was the case in the last 16 years.”

Related: Buhari refuses to sign 2016 budget