Saraki, Dogara, Others Meet To Decide On Budget

The leadership of the National Assembly held a crucial meeting on Monday night to take a final stance on the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold his assent to the controversial 2016 budget.

Investigation showed that the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, would chair the meeting to be held at his Abuja residence.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yussuff Lasun, and other principal officers of the Senate and the House would attend the meeting.

The budget of N6.06tn had been passed by the National Assembly on March 23.

With just days to April 23, a date the budget would have been with Buhari for 30 days, it was still unclear last night if the President had returned it to the legislature stating reasons why he would not sign it as provided under Section 59 of the 1999 Constitution.

But some legislative officials said that the aim of the meeting was for the leadership of both chambers to take a position in anticipation that Buhari would return the document with explanatory notes on the “grey areas.”

“The meeting may not necessarily be about overriding the President’s veto. There isn’t a veto per se because Buhari has not said so officially.

“It is to look at the areas where the executive has already complained of distortions in the budget so that both houses will agree on what to do when a formal letter comes from the Presidency,” one of the officials said at 7.55pm.

Findings indicated that the meeting was billed to start around 9pm.

Credit: Punch

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