As debate and consideration of the 2016 appropriation bill enters day three on Tuesday this week, the Senator representing Taraba central senatorial district in North West Nigeria, Yusuf Abubakar, has urged his colleagues to use their conscience in analysing and interpreting the budget proposal.
Senators were seen to be divided along party lines on day one and two of the budget debate, as some of them argued that the 2016 document is not implementable based on recent dynamics in the global oil market.
In an interview with Voice of Nigeria, Senator Yusuf Abubakar however disagreed with critics of the budget proposal, stressing that when passed into law, it would be implemented for the benefit of all Nigerians irrespective of political affiliations.
“The budget is a Nigerian budget and it is a budget that every one of us should use their conscience to discuss without toeing party lines. The simple reason is that we want people to come up with constructive criticisms and contributions to the budget proposal so that we can make meaningful progress”.
Senator Abubakar who expressed concern that the capital aspect of the budget had not been fully implemented in the past, assured Nigerians that the present government is determined to implement the 2016 budget to the benefit of all Nigerians.
He however admonished Nigerians to change their attitudes towards public service delivery, as one of the ways to transforming the entire system.
“this time, we have a President who has proved to the country that he is determined to implement this budget to the core and therefore I believe it’s a budget of hope, budget of change and I can even call it a budget of perseverance but the fundamental thing is that we need to change our attitudes to implement the budget.”
Senator Abubakar also frowned at the practice whereby the Nigerian legislature has about three months to consider and pass the appropriation bill into law, noting that the present administration has a unique opportunity to demonstrate that it is committed to changing the system so that Nigerians can get the best from the budget annually.
“I believe we should have longer time to debate the budget so that we can give the best to Nigerians. So, why should we have only two months to debate the budget,” he quizzed.