(Laide Raheem – ABEOKUTA)
The senator representing Lagos West at the Senate, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, has absolved the Senate of delaying the passage of the proposed 2018 budget.
Adeola said rather than blame the Senate, various government ministries, agencies and parastatals, should be blamed for failure to provide the necessary documentations and defend their respective financial proposals before the Senate.
Sen. Adeola, who disclosed that members of the Senate had worked round the clock to ensure the budget was passed latest December 21, 2017, lamented the lack of sense of urgency by the Federal Government’s agencies in defending their fiscal proposals, to enable the senate pass the budget in record time.
He spoke, in Ilaro, on the sideline during the end-of -year get-together organised for members and chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Wednesday.
The Senator, who is Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, however, declared that unless the Senate is provided with documentation, fact and figures to work with, the senate could not just rubber stamp the 2018 budget.
Said he, “We are not far behind, let me make some clarifications on the issue of the budget, you can see we are working round the clock to ensure by 21st of December, if possible for the first time in our nation’s history, we can pass the budget in record time. But as it is, documentation and facts and figures that we need to buttress all items of transaction, both in recurrent and capital expenditure as contained in that documents have not been given to us by these ministries.
“The attitude of these various agencies of the government, both the ministry and parastatals is nothing to write home about, because it is when they are prepared to defend this documentation, those figures contained in that documents, then, we will have something to work with. But since we don’t have this documentation and the figures to work with, it will be difficult for us as National Assembly, we can’t be rubber stamp.
“The government has submitted its proposal, policy in numerical terms called budget. We have the option to look at this document critically and analyse them, if the seven or eight trillion budget as proposed by the president is achievable or not. And that can only come when right documentation are given to us. If we are going to pass 2018 budget in a record time, there is need for us to know 2017 performance. We need all documentation to back everything up.”