Kudos, knocks for Buhari as Senate begins debate on 2016 Budget

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 21 January 2016 | 3,286 times

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The Senate kept its promise to begin debate on the 2016 Budget proposal today, with members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) heaping praises on President Muhammadu Buhari while their Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterparts pointed out flaws in the document.

The floor was opened by Senator Abubakar Kyari (APC/Borno North), who described the budget as a committed one, saying that it has provision for youth employment, which is what Nigerians find as the most important thing.

“We have a committed 2016 Budget and a committed President who for the first time came to present the Budget himself. It also has provision for youth employment which is the most important thing,” he said.

Kyari blamed the past administration of PDP, saying: “Nigeria has been in a mess for the past 16 Years. But this time, majority of Nigerians will get their share from the national resources.”

According to Senator Aliyu Sabi (APC/Niger North), “The 2016 Budget is very innovative, bold and courageous. It is unique and I am sure that the ATM of fraud will end in this budget. There is no doubt that Nigerians will be the ones to benefit from this budget because it is indeed a budget of change.”

Sabi, while pointing out that 2.6 per cent of the budget accrued to the agriculture sector is low, urged the Senate to look into it urgently.

Senator Abiodun Olujimi (PDP/Ekiti South) pointed out that there is nothing in the budget that suggests repayment of loans, adding that it is not a budget of change yet.

Senator Gbolahan Dada (APC/Ogun West) supported the heavy borrowing anticipated in the budget. He cited the United State of America, which still borrows despite the health of its economy. “I have no fear concerning the issues of fears, and I believe the budget is right for the country,” he said.

Senator Dino Melaye (APC/Kogi West) thanked the President for the budget, saying: “God bless you President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the Senate a ‘bully budget’ for the first time. . . Instead of funding celestial spiritual affairs, this government has decided to feed kids in schools through the budget.”

Continuing, Melaye said: “It is also good that this government has decided that every unemployed youth will go home with 5,000 each, every month. This government is a departure from the old to the new; an exit from the time Nigerians went home with nothing.”

On borrowing, Melaye said: “There is nothing wrong with borrowing. US is the largest borrowing country in the world. Borrowing is not the issue, but how the monies are spent. And borrowing this time will be justified.”

In his contribution, Senate Chief Whip Olusola Adeyeye (APC/Osun Central) noted that the National Assembly has given itself a short time to do justice to the 2016 Budget. Citing what obtains in the USA, he said: “Budget is usually submitted to the congress of United States eight months before the approval. In the US, there are three research departments that independently conduct researches on budget.”

•Photo shows the Senate in session.

Source: News Express

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