• May release clean copy
From Fred Itua, Abuja
A detailed clean copy of the 2016 budget may be ready tomorrow for inward transmission to the presidency for assent.
Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumuni Jibrin said that some previous administrations in the country especially former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his time signed the budget without the details which was made available two weeks latter.
But a member of the Appropriation Committee, Joseph Edionwele representing Esan Centra/Esan West/Igueben Federal Constituency of Edo State said there was no cause for alarm.
The presidency had last week said that the passed budget will not be assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari because the passed budget did not contain the details.
Meanwhile, spokesman of the Senate, Senator Abdullahi Sabi, yesterday, contradicted the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki over the publication of the breakdown of the N115 billion budget for 2016.
Speaking with newsmen yesterday, spokesman of the Senate, Senator Abdullahi, said he was unaware of any promise made by the Senate president over plans to release details of the budget. He however promised that the breakdown of the National Assembly budget would be contained in the 2016 budget details that would be released soon.
“I am not aware of any promise made by the President of the Senate. What I know is that the National Assembly Budget Breakdown will be contained in the details of the Budget when it is released,” he said.
Saraki had on March 18, 2016, when he played host to editors from The Economist Magazine, revealed that the Red Chamber was going to publish details of the 2016 National Assembly budget.
He had said the move was to prove to Nigerians that the National Assembly had nothing to hide. Saraki had said that in furtherance to the commitment of the Senate, Nigerians would in the next few weeks be availed with the details of the National Assembly budget which will be a departure from the tradition of having one line item budget.
“Under my watch the Senate will cover corruption except if the information didn’t come to us,” he said.
“For the first time we promised Nigerians to give out our budget breakdown. The committee will make its report available by next week. We are resolved to break the tradition of one line item.”
He said the Senate had already demonstrated it’s anti-corruption commitment through its interventions on many alleged corrupt transactions such as its swift investigation and adoption of a report on the management of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) that saved the nation about N7billion and the exposure of the inconsistencies in the 2016 budget.
The step, he said was a departure from the past where such reports were either watered-down or not presented for debate and adoption. He cited the report he presented to the last Senate on the over N1trillion fuel subsidy scam that never saw the light of the day.