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Apprehension as committee submits budget report to Buhari

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budget, Buhari

All fireworks on the 2016 are now set to subside as the presidential committee on budget submits its report to President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.

The committee was set up on Tuesday after the meeting of President Buhari and the National Assembly leadership.

It was set up to look at the “grey areas” raised by the President and come up with acceptable draft.

The committee includes the leader of the executive team, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Yusuf Lasun Suleimon will lead the legislature’s team.

President Buhari had refused to ratify the budget after the Senate had exhaustively perused it and made amendments citing ‘grey areas.

However, it seems the coast is now clear for Buhari to appropriate the budget as the National Assembly team had acceded to about 85 percent of the request for changes he made.

Members of the team from both the executive and the legislature have left any other work to concentrate on the special assignment given to them. 

They were noticeably absent from Thursday Senate plenary because of commitment to the matter.

Also absent are:

– chairmen of the House committees on appropriation and finance, 

– Reps Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC, Kano), and,

– Babangida Ibrahim Mahuta (APC, Katsina).

They were absent at plenary, ostensibly attending to the budget issue.

However, the bill, haven passed through first, second and third reading, it would not have to go back to the floors of the Senate and the House of Representatives for a fresh process after the changes.

That is because the two legislative bodies have completed their work.

What the committee is daling with presently are the details of the budget and not the bill passed by the National Assembly.

Similarly, House spokesman Rep Abdulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa) said during a press conference yesterday that the committee would conclude its work within this week.

He said the proper thing would be done by the committee to enable the president sign the budget next week.

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