2016 Budget Drama Continues As Saraki Makes U-turn… Says Senate Now Has Two Versions
The drama on the alleged missing 2016 budget continues on Thursday as Senate President Bukola Saraki has stated that the 2016 budget document was never missing.
Saraki stated this via his twitter handle on Thursday after presiding over the plenary of the Senate.
He however stated that the senate now has two versions of the budget, one submitted by the president and the other version submitted by the Senior Special Assistant to the president on National Assembly matters, Ita Enang.
He however did not state when the SSA to the president submitted the second version of the budget especially considering that the presidency has consistently maintained that the 2016 budget was never withdrawn.
The senate President had at different times gave conflicting accounts on the state of the 2016 budget president by the president on December 22. After initial denials, Saraki yesterday admitted that the budget documents was missing.
Speaking during the plenary of the senate, Saraki however assured that he had set up a search committee to unravel the whereabout of the documents.
But in a volte-face, Saraki on Thursday said the budget was never missing, adding that the senate now has two versions.
“The budget was never missing. While the President submitted one, the Special Adviser presented another one. Hence reason for investigation”.
The senate via its twitter handle had earlier quoted the president as saying that he received a different version of the budget from the SSA.
Saraki subsequently said that since the senate has two versions of the 2016 budget, it will only accept the one presented by the President.
“Today, the Senate received the report of the ad hoc committee setup to investigate the claims of the ?#?MissingBudget2016?. The report of the committee revealed that the Senate received two versions of the 2016 Appropriation Bill – one from President Muhammdu Buhari at the December 22nd, 2015 Joint Session of the National Assembly, and another from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang.”
“The Senate will only accept the version of the appropriation bill that was presented by the President,” Saraki said.