Last week’s sharp disagreement between the Presidency and the National Assembly, over the 2017 budget, may take a new twist, as lawmakers have vowed not to entertain any virement or supplementary budget proposals from the executive.
Their decision is against an earlier agreement reached before the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo signed the document last Monday.
The legislators who are irked by Osinbajo’s statements, challenging their constitutional powers to tinker with the appropriation bill, said the Acting President’s statements was “medicine after death” and was made to only incite members of the public against the National Assembly.
The legislators whose leadership had earlier responded to the Acting President’s statement, reiterated that the comments were needless as both arms had agreed that if there was any issue arising in the implementation of the budget, the Presidency could forward a request for virement which will enable it move funds from one item to the other or even request for supplementary appropriation.
During a motion moved in both the Senate and the House of Representatives last Thursday, some lawmakers sought to initiate a debate based on a motion on the statement by the Acting President and use the opportunity to “strongly criticize” him for violating the law and challenge him to take the matter to the Supreme Court but Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara quickly
stepped in and averted further discussion on the issue.
The members are now angry that the executive was only setting the legislature up for another round of public bashing and they accused Osinbajo of “bad faith” and “playing to the gallery”.
The lawmakers said the statements credited to the Acting President negated the agreement he had with their leadership before the signing of the budget.
While accusing Osinbajo of undermining the legislature, some of the lawmakers are insisting that unless he issues a counter-statement, no request for virement or supplementary appropriation would be entertained from him.
By Ehisuan Odia…
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