Senate Will Pass 2016 Budget Before End Of March– Ndume

Majority leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, on Sunday, said the upper chamber of the National Assembly will strive to pass the 2016 budget before the end of March. Speaking during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ndume gave March as the deadline for the implementation of the 2015 budget, saying it was even the desire of the Senate to pass the 2016 budget before that time. He disclaimed reports claiming that the Senate had suspended its passage indefinitely, but said February 25, 2016 “may not be feasible”.

He said it was the wish of the National Assembly to pass the budget five weeks before the expiration of the period set for the implementation of the 2015 budget, but that was impossible due to some errors. “We have not postponed it indefinitely; we are saying that with the developments that we are seeing as the time goes on, the 25th February deadline we gave ourselves may not be realistic,” he said.

“That is why we now said that going by this, it is not possible to say we will come back on 25th and say this is the budget; we are not saying that we have suspended it indefinitely. The reason we fixed 25th was to have a gap of five weeks.” He said the gap would have enabled the Senate fix whatever issues needed to be handled before the expiration of the March 31 deadline for the implementation of the 2015 budget.

Ndume said the leadership of the National Assembly had met with ministers to iron out the grey areas and make corrections to the contentious areas as well. He also said the Senate would ensure strict compliance with the implementation of the budget, saying once funds were available, the present administration would ensure thorough implementation of the budget.

Credit: DailyTimes