The Nigerian House of Representatives NASS, says details of the 2016 Budget is still being worked on and will be sent to the Presidency within the next two weeks.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin made the disclosure on Wednesday while reacting to media reports alleging that the National Assembly is responsible for the delay in President’s assent to the bill.
Mr. Jibrin said usually the budget details are not sent along with the estimates but noted that the President reserves the right to insist that it be sent.
“In order for the nation to move forward and avoid stagnation of administrative processes, the tradition is that the bill is passed and forwarded to the presidency for assent, while the lawmakers continue to work on the details. There is nothing abnormal about this practice and yet nothing abnormal about a president assenting a budget before or after seeing the details. In any case, the budget details are usually sent within a week or two after passing the budget. Jibrin explained.
The lawmaker said the 2016 Budget is one of the most difficult budget ever dealt with by the National Assembly and the lawmakers have a responsibility to ensure that what they pass is without errors.
“The Appropriation committee needs to scrutinize the original proposal sent by the president vis-à-vis the reports of various Standing Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate to arrive at a clean copy of the budget details. This will in no way affect any envelop already passed or the aggregate expenditure.” He said.
The National Assembly had one week ago passed the 2016 budget of 6.06 trillion Naira, 17 billion Naira lower than the figure of 6.08 trillion Naira presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly in December last year.
Addressing reporters after the passage of the budget, the chairmen of Appropriation Committees in the Senate and the House of Representatives said that for the first time, the National Assembly had reduced the size of the aggregate expenditure, consequently reducing the total recurrent expenditure, deficit and borrowing plan.