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Buhari’s 2018 Budget won’t be ready till March – Reps

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The House of Representatives leadership has said the 2018 budget of consolidation presented by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this month won’t be ready by January as requested by him (Buhari)

The House leadership noted that the budget passage process was cumbersome and it will last at least three months to complete.

This was revealed by the Chairman, House Committee on Media, Abdulrazak Namdas, in an interview with The Nation on Wednesday.

Namadas explained that the National Assembly must consider the fine points of the bill and make necessary adjustments that reflect the realities of the constituencies and the nation in general.

According to him, the Green Chamber cannot return the document as it was presented.

His words: “When the president presented his speech on the budget presentation day, he expressed the wish that the budget is approved by January 1st.

We are saying that we will work faster, since the 2018 Appropriation Bill was brought a little bit earlier, we should also be able to approve the budget a little earlier.

But I cannot be specific about a date, since we are few weeks to the end of December. This is about 20 siting days. So, if I sit here in the comfort of my office to assure Nigerians that the budget will be passed by 1st of January, you and even them will know it’s not feasible.

For the budget process, you should be looking at a minimum of three months. We will deliberate on the basic principles of the budget, it will be committed to committees to work on it, meet with MDAs and they now send their report to the Appropriation Committee. All of these processes take time.

I think people should be more concerned about the National Assembly and the executive coming up with an implementable budget, rather than focusing on a January date.”

Namdas added that the house has put checks in place to forestall incidences of padding in the 2018 budget.

The measure put in place by the Green Chamber, he said, was to ensure that the type of controversies witnessed in the past does not recur.

TheNewsGuru.com reports that the Federal Government presented the 2018 budget earlier to allow for quick passage by the National Assembly in order to achieve the January – December implementation window of the budget.

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