Posted by News Express | 24 April 2019 | 1,154 times
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has defended the performance of the Eighth National Assembly since 2015.
In a statement on Tuesday by his media adviser, Turaki Hassan, the lawmaker listed the achievements of the assembly and how its leadership has supported the executive despite their political differences.
He stated this in reaction to a statement from the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, accusing the assembly of budget padding among other allegations.
Dogara slammed Tinubu for the making such allegations, saying he has done more to stabilise the present government than the APC leader.
He, however, attributed the delay in budget passage to “persistent refusal or neglect of the Executive” to present it in good time.
He alleged that there was no urgency or plan by the Executive to achieve a January to December budget cycle, in the last four years.
The Speaker explained that the 2016 Budget was submitted on December 22, 2015, while that of 2017 was submitted just 17 days to the end of the year – December 14, 2016.
He added that the 2018 Budget was presented on November 7, 2017, and the 2019 budget was presented 12 days to the end of 2018.
The lawmaker said some ministers and heads of agencies allegedly contributed to the delay by refusing to appear before the National Assembly Standing Committees to defend their budget proposals, in line with the provision of the Law.
Listing some of the achievements of the Eighth Assembly, he noted that the legislature effected an amendment to Section 81(1) of the Constitution to compel the President to present the Budget estimates not later than 90 days to the end of a financial year.
Dogara insisted that the legislature cannot be accused of padding a budget it has unquestionable constitutional power to review.
According to him, it is only the ignorant that say the maker of a document has padded the document that only he can constitutionally make.
Some of the other achievements highlighted by the Speaker are approval of the $1 billion fund for arms purchase “without appropriation”, and helping the government improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria. (Channels TV)
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