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National Assembly Ready For Passage Of 2016 Budget

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, March 16, (THEWILL) – The National Assembly will begin the final process of the passage of the 2016 budget on Thursday as the fiscal document will be laid on the floors of the Senate and the House of Representatives by the Appropriation Committees of the two chambers.

This was revealed by Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, who told reporters at the national assembly complex on Wednesday that necessary work had been done on the budget to get it passed.

Abdullahi who is also a member of the Senate Appropriation Committee disclosed that although, the 2016 budget will not be passed on Thursday by the National Assembly, what would remain, after laying the budget, would be merely administrative work.

“God willing we are laying the budget Thursday. I can assure Nigerians that the budget will be laid Thursday. That tells you that a lot of work has been completed on the budget,” he said.

“All is almost set for the laying of the 2016 budget tomorrow (today) in the senate chamber as we have promised Nigerians and with that, one or two processes that are required will take place and we will have our budget as promised.

“This has put to rest any suspicion of what is happening. I am here to inform you that tomorrow 17th, God sparing our lives; the 2016 budget would be laid by the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee.

“We are laying the budget tomorrow; that means that every little work that needed to be done with respect to getting that budget as an appropriation has been done. Literally passing the budget tomorrow means that beyond laying it we will discuss it, by taking it clause by clause and give it the loud voice that would proclaim its passage.

“When a target is set, it is to allow you to work very hard to achieve the target. By virtue of the fact that the budget would be laid tomorrow, it shows that we had worked so hard to get to that point.

“The rest after laying the budget is merely administrative. As far as we are concerned, in line with the legislative procedure, by laying the budget tomorrow, it is as good as we have passed the budget.

“What remains is for us to go through one or two things as a procedure. We have done very well by ensuring that the budget would be laid tomorrow. There are lots of back and fore with respect to the budget.

“We are not unmindful about the date set for the passage, but we want to give Nigerians a budget that is acceptable, implementable, and that will actually drive the key policies of this government with respect to the change agenda.

“For the budget to be laid tomorrow, that means that there is concurrence; all members of the appropriation committee are satisfied, everybody that has a responsibility.

“Every member of the committee has appended his signature on the budget and by tomorrow when the budget is laid, Nigerians will know that we have done well.”

President Muhammadu Buhari laid the 2016 budget before a joint session of the National Assembly in December which became a subject of controversy one month later, owing to the lapses it had.

There are strong indications that the budget would be passed on Tuesday March 22, 2016 while the clean copy of the budget would be transmitted to the President on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.

Story by David Oputah