NASS Have Right To Pad Budget, Says Rep Member As Budget Details Is Sent To Presidency
The Chairman House Committee on Public Petitions, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP, Abia), has said that the National Assembly has the right to pad budgets.
Nkem-Abonta stated this in his reaction to the transmission of the 2016 budget to the Presidency.
The 2016 budget after much drama was finally transmitted to the presidency on Wednesday for the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the transmission was a welcome development but noted that people should stop saying lawmakers padded the budget.
We’ve right to pad or depad because we have legal padding and illegal padding, what we do is legal padding which is the right to appropriate.
“So, when people say we are padding the budget, they are simply asking us not to do our job.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmunin Jibrin (APC, Kano), has said that the 2016 budget remained one of the most challenging budgets they (lawmakers) ever experienced.
Jubrin, who spoke to journalists shortly after delivering the budget document to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Salisu Maikasuwa, for onward transmission to the President, explained that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on NASS Affairs had been duly informed and was expected to deliver it as soon as possible.
He said: “While we thank Nigerians for their patience and understanding, it is important to reiterate that it took us extra weeks to get the details ready not because there was anything untoward going on but rather so we could correct all the inconsistencies, errors, omissions and padding in the document submitted to us in December last year.
“Being the most important economic policy tool of government, the budget provides a comprehensive statement of our priorities as a nation. And as representatives of the people, the National Assembly remains the appropriate place to ensure that the details of such a document best match our national goals and aspirations”.
“Therefore, what we have been doing in these past few weeks is to balance the projections for revenue against the estimates for expenditure, based on the reality of our situation today.
“Unfortunately, that task has been made very difficult by the sloppy manner the 2016 Appropriation Bill was prepared by the executive, such that many of the officials who came before our various committees practically disowned the inputs from their own departments and ministries.”