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Senators clash over 2016 budget; it’s “dead on arrival” – PDP

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There was a drama on Wednesday in the Senate during debate on 2016 budget as Senators of both APC and PDP engaged in war of words over the appropriation bill.

Senator Enyinaya Abaribe

There was a drama on Wednesday in the Senate during debate on 2016 budget as Senators of both All Progressive Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) engaged in war of words over the appropriation bill.

Immediately after the Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume concluded the lead debate on the bill, Senator Enyinaya Abaribe (PDP) began the debate by mocking the ruling parting appropriation bill saying President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2016 budget as “dead on arrival”. 

While making his contribution to the debate on the budget on the floor of the senate on Wednesday, Abaribe also called for its withdrawal. 

“Mr President, my colleagues, this budget is indeed unique; after the budget presentation, the finance minister has never come to explain the details of the budget as it is normally done,” he said.

However, Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC) who was called upon by Senate President to make his contribution did not waste time to quickly replied senator Abaribe in his contribution that since 1999, he has been in National Assembly this is the first time Nigeria’s budget would not depend on oil adding the budget will definitely take care of the need of 170 million Nigeria.

Lawan said: “The problem is and has always been corruption and corruption. For 16 years, Nigeria was subjected to impunity. 

“This is the first time a budget is not depending on oil; it is an opportunity for this administration to make sure that we diversify the economy.”

Also making his contribution, the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, called for the reduction of the budget by 30 percent.

“This budget is for all Nigerians and not for the PDP and APC; there are over 30 political parties in Nigeria,” he said. 

“For the first time, I want to appeal that we should reduce this budget by 30 percent. Whether we like it or not, we are going through a recession. 

“Instead of financing the budget through borrowing, we should devise a means to finance the budget by raising the revenue. 

We should reduce the cost of governance; we need to concentrate on existing projects. 

“My consolation is that this parliament has the final say on it. We have 35bn on information, or are we providing for propaganda?”

Also speaking, Senator Babajide Omoworare said that one thing about the budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari is that it is not a budget that is focusing on how to share the National cake but how to bake it.

He lamented that it is disgraceful that the previous government under PDP could not encourage local investors in order to boost the nation’s economy.

After exhaustive debate on the bill by APC and PDP senators, the senate President Bukola Saraki postponed the debate on the bill Thursday.

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