National Assembly replies Buhari, exposes Amaechi’s shady deals

By Joshua Amaugo April 11, 2016 12:22

National Assembly replies Buhari, exposes Amaechi’s shady deals

The war between the Executive and the Legislative arm of Government has continued to boil, following new errors and padding detected in the details of the 2016 budget recently transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, last week.

President Buhari, had earlier maintained that he would not sign the 2016 budget passed by the National Assembly into law until details of the budget are transmitted to his office.

Related: Buhari refuses to sign 2016 budget

After weeks of controversies between the Executive and the Legislature, the National Assembly on Wednesday, April 6, transmitted details of the 2016 Appropriation bill to the President.

Related: Buhari receives shocking details on 2016 Budget

Deliberating on the controversial details transmitted to the Presidency, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, detected 8 new errors among several other paddings carried out by both chambers.

The lawmakers were accused of removing crucial capital projects from the document and inserting some items not originally included.

Related: Saraki, Dogara implicated as Buhari set to return 2016 Budget

Reacting to the allegations, House of Representatives Appropriation Committee Chairman, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin, took to his twitter handle to condemn the executive for the report, while exonerating the lawmakers from any wrong doing.

Honourable Jibrin speaking further said, the presidency is not telling Nigerians the truth about items on the 2016 budget.

Jibrin said, “I actually find it shocking that even some national dailies made the removal their headlines. A little research would have helped”.

Post-Nigeria gathered that most of the shady deals discovered were under the Ministry of Transportation of which Rotimi Amaechi is the captain.

“Lagos-Calabar Railway line was never captured in the budget that was sent by the executive. How then could it have been removed by NASS?

“All they, and those spreading the false information needed to have done, is check the initial document sent by the executive. Lagos-Calabar Rail was never included.

“How could NASS have removed what was not there? But the nation is being misled”.

Honourable Jibrin decried that the legislature has always been on the receiving end, bearing in mind the crisis of padding started with the executive who prepared the budget.

He said, “The NASS has always been on the receiving end of bad press. This is being capitalised on in the conversations on budget 2016.

“This is unfortunate as it is quite clear to all and sundry that budget 2016 and all its headaches and controversies didn’t emanate from NASS.

Giving some shocking revelations, he said, “Take the budget of the ministry of transportation [that] was overshot by N54bn. That is, by the time you add up the items on the ministry’s budget. You’d still have a gap of N54bn.”

“N54billion lying there without being allocated. NASS has a responsibility and here it did the right thing

“What NASS did with the N54bn; we added N39.7bn to the Lagos-Kano Rail project. This will help complete the project once and for all.

“We also allocated N10b of this sum to the airport’s navigation and security apparatus. We often make so much noise about airport security after major plane crashes. But we need not wait for crashes to enhance safety at airports

“We allocated the balance to Baro Ports for its completion and equipping. Baro Port is strategic to our economic development.

“Much ado about vaccines that weren’t even there. The budget of the ministry of health was the most controversial.

“The minister of health came to deny the document that was presented to the NASS by the executive for the second time. There is a lot more to be said about this and they will be said in the coming days.

“We also allocated funding for rural solar street lights, vocational centres, cottage industries etc. On this one, there is no going back.

“Nigeria isn’t just for urban dwellers. As representatives of the people, ours is to ensure justice in the distribution of national wealth.

“We will come up with a comprehensive position especially with respect to our observation of the budget and what we did to make it better,”