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Buhari accuses National Assembly of padding, declines assent to 8 bills

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Again, President Muhammadu Buhari has accused the National Assembly of hugely padding debt figures to be repaid by the Federal Government to some states in the country after he declined to assent the Ajaokuta bill and seven others.

While his message was read to senators by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at Tuesday’s plenary, the president specifically accused the National Assembly of raising the debt repayment figure to Delta and Taraba states by N12 billion; from the original N78 billion, to N90 billion.

However, Buhari asked the lawmakers to send details of the amounts they approved for the two states, as well as the figures approved for payment by the Federal Executive Council (FEC); when it was sent to the National Assembly for approval.

He said; “I wish to inform the Senate that we have received the approval of the National Assembly via letter referenced NASS/CNA/106/volume11/004, dated January 29, for refunds to Delta and Taraba states; through the issuance of a promissory note for projects executed on behalf of the federal government.

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“In view of the approval of the National Assembly, the following was observed: While FEC approved N78 billion (78,601,631,430.16), as reimbursement to Delta and Taraba state governments, National Assembly approved N90 billion (90,236,461,031.36); which is higher than the amount approved by FEC.

“The National Assembly did not approve any reimbursement to Bauchi and Kogi states governments whereas FEC approved reimbursement for them.”

Buhari also reminded the lawmakers of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act (2007), which empowers the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to approve contract.

“Since the BPP is charged with the responsibility of approving contractual sums when there is a need for compliance with the Public Procurement Act, 2007, I wish to request that you forward to us details relating to the amount approved by the National Assembly for Delta and Taraba states, in essence of what certified by the BPP, for necessary certification approval.

“Meanwhile, the federal government shall proceed with the implementation by reimbursing the amount approved by FEC. Furthermore, I wish to suggest that you review the reimbursement in favour of Bauchi and Kogi state governments; while looking forward to timely consideration of the request,” he said.

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