Discrepancies: Why there were problems with 2016 Budget – Senate

By The Citizen

The Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, on Monday said that the problem the 2016 budget is presently having is because it was rushed before submission to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He spoke with State House correspondents after meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the problems associated with the document would however be sorted out to enable the budget to be signed into law.

He said: 'We are working on the budget daily. We are working on it collectively for the first time.

'The Executive and the Legislature are looking at the budget collectively. This is the first time we will be doing it this way.

'The matter is not about a date. If we can finish it today, we will hand it over for signature tomorrow.

'In those days, we just pass budgets that are normally not implemented. This is the first time we are doing a budget that the President is looking forward to implement.

'This budget was done in a rush and you know there are some issues that are cropping up. It is no longer going to be business as usual.

'So, those unusual things, if detected, we will work on them. It is not as if we are holding on to the budget. We are working collectively,' he added.

His consultation with the President, he said, was necessary because there were other bills pending before the National Assembly which requires such consultations.

He said: 'There are issues that are really on ground. One is the budget. We also have two bills before the Senate that we need to start working on when we resume tomorrow. The Money Laundering Bill and the Criminal Information Sharing Bill

'There are issues other than those ones that are really on ground. This is how we are supposed to be doing it earlier. That is, coming into the Villa to consult and guide the proceedings in the Senate appropriately.

'Other than that, I don't want you to see it as an unusual visit. I will be doing this often because this is how it is supposed to be.

'Again, I normally consult with the President on a personal basis long before he became the President, so it is not unusual. ' he stated

He disagreed with the suggestions that he was at the Villa to intercede on behalf of Senate President, Bukola Saraki over his ongoing prosecution at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

He said: 'I am not the Senate President. The question should be directed to the Senate President.

'You are asking me what I do not know. I consult and if I have to mediate on anything, there should be a problem. I do not know of any problem,' he said. The Nation.