Posted by News Express | 20 November 2013 | 3,245 times
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has dismissed insinuations that President Goodluck Jonathan boycotted the presentation of the 2014 budget which he was billed to perform yesterday due to security concerns.
“This is not a boycott of the National Assembly or an attempt to create discord between the two arms of government. Rather, it is an effort to improve on procedural efficiency, conviviality and co-operation between the Legislature and the Executive in the overall interest of our Nation, our citizens and good governance,” Okupe told newsmen yesterday in Abuja.
According to him, “In the preparation for the 2014 budget, and in accordance with projections in the 2014-2016 Medium Term Expenditure Framework, the Federal Government initially proposed a $ 74 per barrel for crude oil.
“However, in the course of further consultations, some understanding evolved around $76.5 per barrel on which the budget was prepared. It subsequently became known that there is an apparent disparity in the figures adopted by the two houses of the National Assembly as benchmark
for the budget. This disparity, if not harmonized, will grossly undermine the veracity of the projections in the 2014 budget as prepared by the Federal Government.
“The President therefore chose to allow the two Houses arrive at a harmonized figure, after which the presentation of the 2014 budget will be done by Mr President such that the processing and approval by the National Assembly will not be unduly encumbered.
“We trust that this pragmatic approach will be appreciated and wholesomely well received by the distinguished senators and Hon members of the National Assembly.”
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