ANNUAL BUDGETS: Executive always responsible for delay —Ekweremadu

I helped APC with N5m in 2014— Ekweremadu

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive as being responsible for budget delay since he came into power.

The Senate on Wednesday started the second reading of the 2019 N8.83 trillio budget, which Buhari presented to it on December 19, 2018.

Owing to breaks they have not been able to hold a debate on the proposal.

Responding to the lead debate on the budget by the Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, Ekweremadu argued that “the constitutional provision for the nation’s financial year”, has been from January to December of each year.

He then regretted that the President had always presented the budget before the joint sittings towards the end of December, thereby, making it difficult for quick passage.

“Mr President, my distinguished colleagues, I must commend the Senate leader, for the elaborate lead debate on the budget.

“However, the executive is always responsible for budget delay. Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution as amended provided the budget circle from January to December of every year.

“In laying the annual budget before us late December as he has been doing makes it difficult for us to meet up with January to December requirements, he said.

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According to Ekweremadu, who got re-elected for the 5th time, late passage of the budget affects agriculture in Nigeria because farmers cannot access funds for commercial farming.

His position counters Buhari’s claim some time ago that the 8th Senate has been slowing down his administration by not passing annual budgets on time.

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Ebere Ndukwu

Ebere is a lover of investigative journalism, always seeking to unearth the hidden.

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