Ali Ndume, the senator representing Borno South, has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter on the request to present the 2019 budget on Wednesday is yet to be read on the floor of the senate.
Speaking on the importance of the presentation, Ndume pleaded with members of the House of Representatives who had threatened to boycott the budget presentation to reconsider.
Some members of the lower legislative chamber had threatened to boycott the budget presentation over a comment credited to Udoma Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning, that the National Assembly was responsible for the delay in the presentation.
The minister has since clarified the controversial statement.
Speaking on Saturday, Ndume urged the federal lawmakers who issued the threat to reconsider their position in the interest of the nation.
He also urged speedy passage of the appropriation bill.
“I understand the reactions of the honourable members, is as a result of the unnecessary comment credited to the minister of budget as to who is responsible for the delay,” he said.
“My take on this is that two wrongs do not make a right and I want to appeal to my colleagues in the House of Representatives to have a rethink because the president is not responsible for what the minister was alleged to have said.
“I feel national interest should be placed above any individual or group interest. As for the senate, the letter from Mr President as to when to present the budget has not been read.
“I feel the best thing to do is for the president to present the budget, especially before we go on Christmas break so that copies of the budget will be circulated to members to enable them start work on it.
“On resumption immediately after Christmas, we will start working on considering the budget for passage.
“So, I feel the reasonable thing to do is to receive Mr President in a joint session because it is very key to our national interest.”
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