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Government & Politics

2016 Budget: Presidency, National Assembly Trade Blame Over Missing Details

BUHARI 1
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The controversy surrounding the 2016 budget seems to be unending as the Presidency and the National Assembly are said to be in disagreement over some details which are missing from the document.

Earlier reports had it that President Muhammadu Buhari was upset with the legislators for deleting the provision made for the Calabar-Lagos Coastal Railway.

Buhari is said to have summoned Senate President, Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara to a meeting over this.

The National Assembly has however denied the claims that it removed the item from the budget.

“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?” the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin said via Twitter.

“I actually find it shocking that even some National Dailies made the removal their headlines. A little research would have helped. 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. The NASS has always been on the receiving end of bad press. This is being capitalised on in the conversations on #Budget2016

“This is unfortunate as it is quite clear to all and sundry that #Budget2016 and all its headaches and controversies didn’t emanate from the NASS,” he added.

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Dogara has also denied reports that the item was removed by the legislators.

The budget has been the centre of controversy since it was reported missing from the Assembly premises in January.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki later said that two different versions of the document had been submitted to the legislative house.

The controversy led to the sacking of the Director General of the budget office, Yahaya Gusau and the redeployment of 22 officials from the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

The budget was finally passed on March 23, 2016 after the Senate and the House of Representatives both received the requisite report from the Joint Committee on Appropriation.

The controversy did not stop there however as President Buhari refused  to sign the budget without being aware of the final details which were yet to be sent by the Assembly.

The details were eventually sent to the president on April 7.


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