The 2016 budget will not be passed Thursday as promised

March 17, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ NEWS and Gossip


The 2016 budget will not be passed Thursday as promised by the National Assembly, it was learnt Wednesday.
Rather, the fiscal document will be laid on the floors of the Senate and the House of Representatives by the Appropriation Committees of the two chambers.
The Appropriation Committee of the two chambers had at a media briefing promised that the N6.08 trillion 2016 budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 22, 2015 would be passed Thursday.
The new date of March 17 came after efforts to pass the budget on February 25, 2016 failed.
Following the promise, a copy of the 2016 budget would have been laid Wednesday preparatory for its consideration and passage Thursday.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, however told reporters in Abuja that the 2016 budget will be laid today.
Abdullahi who is also a member of the Appropriation Committee, noted that after laying the budget, what would remain would be merely administrative work.
Anxiety mounted Wednesday following the failure of the Appropriation Committee to lay the budget as promised before Senate adjourned.
There was also no mention of the budget during Senate plenary.
Abdullahi said, “God willing we are laying the budget Thursday. I can assure Nigerians that the budget will be laid Thursday. That tells you that a lot of work has been completed on the budget.
Abdullahi noted that Nigerians are aware of “the back and front of the budget” saying that by scheduling March 17 to pass the budget, they merely set target for themselves.
He added that members of the National Assembly have taken their time to work on the document because they wanted implementable budget.
Abdullahi said, “All is almost set for the laying of the 2016 budget tomorrow (today) in the senate chamber as we have promised Nigerians and with that, one or two processes that are required will take place and we will have our budget as promised.
“This has put to rest any suspicion of what is happening. I am here to inform you that tomorrow 17th, God sparing our lives; the 2016 budget would be laid by the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee.
“We are laying the budget tomorrow; that means that every little work that needed to be done with respect to getting that budget as an appropriation has been done. Literally passing the budget tomorrow means that beyond laying it we will discuss it, by taking it clause by clause and give it the loud voice that would proclaim its passage.
“When a target is set, it is to allow you to work very hard to achieve the target. By virtue of the fact that the budget would be laid tomorrow, it shows that we had worked so hard to get to that point.
“The rest after laying the budget is merely administrative. As far as we are concerned, in line with the legislative procedure, by laying the budgettomorrow, it is as good as we have passed the budget.
“What remains is for us to go through one or two things as a procedure. We have done very well by ensuring that the budget would be laidtomorrow. There are lots of back and fore with respect to the budget.
“We are not unmindful about the date set for the passage, but we want to give Nigerians a budget that is acceptable, implementable, and that will actually drive the key policies of this government with respect to the change agenda.
“For the budget to be laid tomorrow, that means that there is concurrence; all members of the appropriation committee are satisfied, everybody that has a responsibility.
“Every member of the committee has appended his signature on the budget and by tomorrow when the budget is laid, Nigerians will know that we have done well.”
Also alluding to the fact that the budget will no longer be passed today scheduled, Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume informed that the budget would be passed on Tuesday March 22, 2016.
Ndume also said that a clean copy of the budget would be transmitted to President Buhari on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.
It is expected that after laying it, Senators would be given copies of the fiscal document to read in detail before its possible passage on March 22, 2016.
Source:the Nation