2016 budget document missing in NASS

2016 budget document missing in NASS
January 12 16:31 2016

Three weeks after its presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari, the hard and soft copies of the 2016 budget proposal has been declared missing in the National Assembly.

President Muhammad Buhari had on December 22,2015 presented a N6.08 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2016 to a joint session of the National Assembly.

Lawmakers were not however given copies before they went on Christmas holidays.

The document was found missing on Tuesday when Senators were about to commence deliberations on it.

Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume broke the news to his colleagues on Tuesday afternoon in a close door meeting.

Ndume therefore said the deliberations will not continue until the Executive arm send another copy.

The Chairman, Senate Committee of Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, was soda mandated to lead a search for the documents and liaise with the Presidency to get another copy of the budget proposal.

Thinkers Newspaper recalls that there were rumours of the withdrawal of the budget by the Presidency about a fortnight ago.

The Presidency was said to have made the withdrawal to correct some mistakes and inconsistencies in the budget figures.

Speaking to State House correspondents on the issue, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun denied the withdrawal, saying the budget was going through the normal legislative process.

“You know the budget is presented to the NASS and then there is what we call an interactive budget approval process and you know the agencies will still go and defend their budget at the National Assembly. So, ordinarily in budget processes, anywhere in the world, there can be amendments to the budgets arising from that interactive process, which is normal.

“But let me make it very clear. The budget is not being withdrawn or replaced. The budget has been presented and will go through normal process whereby MDAs defend their budgets. It is possible in the process of that, because as you know the legislature is not a rubber stamp, their job is to scrutinize the budget and to approve that budget. So there may be some changes that occur as a result of that interactive process, but that process is normal everywhere in the world where a budget is presented. So I think it is important to make that clarification,” the minister had said.