Posted by News Express | 28 April 2017 | 2,159 times
The Nigerian Senate says it will hand over the 2017 Budget to President Muhammadu Buhari next week for assent.
Speaking to newsmen on Thursday, Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan said the Senate had intended to pass the budget in April but were delayed owing to the police raid on the home of the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje.
Goje had accused the police of taking some of the budget documents from his home, but the police have refuted the claims.
Lawan faulted the action of the security agency but said there was nothing to worry about.
“Let me say that there is nothing to worry about. The national assembly had intended to pass the budget in March but because of some parameters that we didn’t have control over, we couldn’t pass it,” he said.
“It was our design and desire to pass it within this month, April, but somehow, something happened.
“One of our colleagues, the chairman, senate committee on appropriation, Distinguished Senator Danjuma Goje’s house was raided by the police after a whistleblower gave information and when parts of those documents were taken away, it was reported that parts of the budget papers were included.
“This and other things that happened and essentially, the trauma that the chairman, senate committee on appropriation had to go through, affected the process of budgeting.
“When we were going on Easter recess, members of the senate committee on appropriation, including that of the house, did not go on recess. They stayed back because that was the arrangement, so that by the time we returned on April 25, that was Tuesday, they should lay the report of the budget.
“Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible because of what happened. But the good news is that we are doing everything possible to ensure that we catch up with the lost time. So, by the grace of God, I’m thinking that by next week, we should be able to finish our own work and pass the budget for Mr President to sign.”
Buhari had in December 2016, presented the 2017 Budget to the National assembly
The N7.298 trillion budget has an oil benchmark of $42.5 per barrel as against $38 in 2016 and has a naira benchmark of 305 per dollar, as against 197 in 2016.
The budget, which is 20.4 percent bigger than that of 2016, has earmarked 30.7 percent for capital expenditure “to pull the economy out of recession.”
The area of education got 50 billion naira while universal basic education got a direct allocation of 92 billion naira while 51 billion naira was also allocated to health. (TV360 Nigeria)
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