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Missing Budget: Count us out, House, Presidency say



The issue of the missing budget has continued to generate reactions from every segment of the Nigerian society and government, as the House of Representatives, and the Presidency have both called on Nigerians to count them out of the issue of missing budget as reported by the National Assembly.

Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Shehu Garba has called on Nigerians to count the presidency out of the issue of missing budget as reported by the National Assembly.

He stated that the presidency has nothing to do with the missing budget, as it ceases to be its property once it is submitted to the federal legislature.
Garba said in a facebook post last night that “Nobody except the President can withdraw the budget”.

And that as far as the presidency is concerned, that has not been done.
The House of Representatives has, however, said that the budget document was available in the House, as its spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas said that: “As far as the House of Representatives is concerned, there is nothing like missing budget. As from tomorrow, by the grace of God we shall begin to distribute copies of the budget to members for deliberation.”

On his part, Garba continued, that “The copies in their hundreds have been delivered to both chambers of the National Assembly. By tradition, once the budget is submitted, it ceases to be our property.

He therefore stated that “Enquiries as to where it is should be directed to the appropriate quarters.”
The Senate has however, dispelled reports that the document on the 2016 proposed budget had gone missing.

Read also: Incredible! Senate says 2016 budget is missing

Senate Leader, Ali Ndume said a budget cannot be missing
”The budget cannot be missing. A copy can be laid, it is a symbolic copy, the budget will be in custody of both Chambers. It cannot be stolen, it cannot be missing. Once the budget is laid in the National Assembly, it has become the property of National Assembly,” he said.

On the visit of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki to President Muhammadu Buhari after the report of the missing budget, Ndume said: ”Saraki’s visit to Villa is for Senate to know the President’s priority. We want to see how we can fast track the passage of the budget before the end of February. What is before the Senate is proposal, once the president signs it, it cannot be amended, we can turn the budget upside down, it cannot be missing”.

On his part, Dr Saraki refused to comment on the subject when approached by State House correspondents after his visit with the President. He Simply said “Ahh”, scrambled into his waiting car, and sped away.

Senators of the opposition PDP who had accused the presidency of silently withdrawing the budget to revise down supposedly outrageous items in the bill were last night locked in a meeting where they were believed to be discussing the issue.

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