Senate on Tuesday said it has encountered difficulties at the committee levels, hence, it would not go ahead to discuss the 2018 budget with a view to passing it into law before end of the year as earlier planned.
Speaking under order 42, Senator Bala Ibn’Nallah pointed that: “though we suspended plenary two weeks ago with the expectation that various committees would have met, but as it is, nothing seems to have been done.”
Bala Ibn’Nallah further observed that the template for budget preparation which was inherited by democratic government was that of military, noting that the template was obsolete.
“Like I said, the template which we inherited was a military model, hence, it would not give us what we want’, he said.
Barnabas Gemade explained that Nigerians were in high expectations, noting that it was not realistic for the Senate to go ahead.
He said: “there are galaxy of problems surrounding budget sitting at the Committee levels.”
Senator Lanre Tejuosho said there was improper coordination among the Executive arm, stressing that about five agencies of government wrote to his Committee that their Chief executives have travelled abroad.
Senator Mathew Urhoride on his part, flattened the Federal government, saying that the executive was not serious.
According to him, the executive was hoarding information on implementation of capital expenditure, thereby making it difficult for the legislature to know where to start from.
“This government is not serious as we in the chambers. Last week, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun told Nigerians that N750 billion capital has been released.”
“In this case, how do we plot a graph that will extrapolate figures for us to determine the percentage of implementation and those to be rolled over. This is difficult for us now,” he added.
Senator Dino Melaye on his part, explained that the 2018 budget was garnished in deceit.
He further maintained that so much money meant for the implementation of 2017 budget were still trapped in the Central Bank treasury.
He suggested that the office of the Accountant General of the federation should be empowered, adding that Section 162 of the Constitution was clear that all monies must be paid into the consolidated revenue account.
Dino further picked holes in the manner that the economy was ran, stating that funds were scattered all over, while government was borrowing money.
Reacting, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki expressed that it was time, the nation depart from rhetorics.
He ruled that Committees should continue budget defense.