President Muhammadu Buhari allegedly withdrawal of the N6.08 trillion 2016 budget presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on December 22, 2015, so as to amend some figures, has triggered a palpable ruckus among highly placed Senators.
Reports recently emerged that he (Buhari) had written to the National Assembly requesting to withdraw the budget proposal to amend some figures.
In separate remarks on Tuesday, January 5, with NASS Correspondents, while some prominent Senators were in agreement of the alleged withdrawal, saying the president’s action was in order, others said otherwise.
According to Chairman of the Senate Committee on Works, Kabiru Gaya, Buhari’s action was in order.
“I do not think it has been withdrawn but whatever the case is, the figure of the entire budget will not change. Mostly, there are adjustments of priority projects. So, if the figure under the subhead is not defined, then he has the right to readjust it and bring it back to us. The adjustment can also be done even while we are still discussing the budget.
“Once the main figure does not change, it is possible to make adjustments. If we are cutting 30 per cent from the National Assembly budget, then, it has to be done, pro rata. We must cut across 30 per cent across the agencies, the ministries, and all other government parastatals. There is duplication of figures like purchase of computers. When all the duplications are discovered, it is necessary to take them out,” Gaya said.
Senate leader, Senator Ali Ndume, maintained that it was impossible for Buhari to withdraw the budget.
“It is impossible to withdraw the budget. It is not a document that you can just write and say you are withdrawing it,” he said.
Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, stated that he was not aware of the budget withdrawal.
“To my knowledge, the budget, as laid by Mr President on December 22, 2015 is still with the National Assembly and has not been withdrawn.”
Meanwhile, the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has described speculations that the 2016 budget proposal has been withdrawn as false.