Buhari breaks silence over divisive 2016 Budget
by AUGUSTINE OSAYANDE
ABUJA, (CAJ News) -NIGERIA PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has told Senate there were no changes in the draft bill and figures contained in the 2016 budget proposal.
The President, in a letter addressed to Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, dated January 15, which was read at the plenary on Tuesday, indicated during his budget presentation that details of the appropriation bill would on be checked to ensure that there were no errors.
The Senate read and adopted Buhari’s letter on Tuesday during plenary.
Controversy had broken out last Tuesday on the budget following revelation by the Senate that copies of the estimates were missing at the National Assembly.
The controversy deepened last Thursday when Senate President Bukola Saraki said that based on the findings of a committee of the Senate, there were two versions of the budget as presented by Buhari in circulation.
Buhari denied fears figures had been tampered with.
“It will be recalled that on Tuesday, 22 December, 2015, I presented my 2016 budget proposals to the joint sitting of the National Assembly. I submitted a draft bill accompanied by a schedule of details,” said Buhari.
“At the time of submission, we indicated that because the details had just been produced, we would have had to check to ensure that there were no errors in the detailed breakdown contained in the schedule. That has since been completed and I understand that the corrections have been submitted.”
He said the National Assembly would therefore have details as submitted on December 22 and a copy containing the corrections was submitted last week.
“It appears that this has led to some confusion. In this regard, please find attached the corrected version. This is the version the National Assembly should work with as my 2016 budget estimates. The draft bill remains the same and there are no changes in any of the figures,” Buhari said in the letter.
– CAJ News
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