National Assembly may pass 2016 Budget next week — Jibrin
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, believes the executive arm of government will learn from the mistakes in the 2016 Budget.
Abdulmumin also disclosed that the budget could be laid before the National Assembly on Tuesday and passed next week. He noted that some of the problems in the budget were understandable because this is the first time Nigeria would have a transition, not only from one President to the other but also from one political party to another.
The Committee Chair commended President Muhammadu Buhari on his role that led to the resolution of the budget crisis.
The lawmaker told Sunday Vanguard yesterday: 'I have been the Chair of the House Finance and now Appropriation Committee for almost five years now; so I have been involved in no fewer than five budget cycles. I can tell you straight-away that the 2016 Appropriation Bill has been the most difficult I have had to deal with. I have hardly slept in the last two weeks and I can say the same for the other members of the committee, including that of the Senate'.
He continued: 'But it is also interesting that the President took direct responsibility and got involved in the process, not only to ensure synergy between the executive and the legislature but also that we can both arrive at a budget that is implementable for the good of all Nigerians. I don't want to go into details about the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari but I want to put it on record that he has played the role of a father and he deserves commendation.
'I know there have been reports about errors, padding and all sorts of things in the budget. Most of those reports are true.
'However, Nigerians should also not forget that this is the first time we would have a transition not only from one president to another but from one political party to another, so some of these problems are understandable. I believe the executive will learn from the mistakes of this year, going forward.
'But it has been a very difficult period for the appropriation committees of both chambers though we are working round the clock to ensure that we lay the budget before the National Assembly on Tuesday so that we can get it passed next week'.