As Lawmakers, We Have The Right To Pad Budget – Ndume
The Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, on Friday said that lawmakers are constitutionally empowered to “add, subtract and adjust” a national budget.
He described the current altercation between a former Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, and the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, on alleged padding of the 2016 Budget as a mere media hype.
Ndume spoke with State House correspondents when he joined five other lawmakers to observe the Jumat prayer with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said if federal lawmakers were not empowered by the constitution to tinker with budget, there would not have been any reason for the President to submit the document to the National Assembly.
Ndume said, “The issue of budget padding is more of a media hype than reality. We are not doing budget now, we only have Appropriation Act which is a law and you know the process of implementing a law.
“I do not know where the issue of this budget padding we are talking about is coming from. If we are not to tinker with the budget as submitted by the President, then there would not have been the need to submit it to the National Assembly.
“We have the constitutional duty to add, subtract and adjust. That was what was done. This is the first time we did a budget that was collectively produced in the sense that it was done in such a way that the Senate, House of Representatives and the Executive played different parts.
The Senate Leader said he had been reaching out to the parties involved in the crisis with the aim of settling the disagreement amicably.
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