Saraki names 20 committees sitting on 2018 budget
Written by admin on April 12, 2018
Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, Thursday named 20 critical sub-committees of the Senate delaying the passage of the 2018 budget.
Saraki who spoke on the worrisome development at plenary warned that the committees must not continue to hold the country to ransom by their apparent refusal to submit their budget reports.
The senate President said that he had no option than to openly name the sub-committees to ensure that the needful was done in the interest of the country.
He mandated the committees to ensure that their reports were submitted to the Senate Appropriation Committee with failure Friday.
This revelation is coming more than five months after the 2018 budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari had, on submission of the Appropriation Bill on November 7, 2017, sought the leave of the National Assembly to consider and approve the fiscal document by January 2018 to ensure that the budget ran its full course of 12 calendar months.
The request was not kept as the National Assembly earlier blamed heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for allegedly refusing to appear before sub-committees to defend their budgetary votes.
The Senate President named Defence, Army, Air Force, Navy, Industry, FCT, States and Local Governments, Culture and Tourism, Petroleum (Downstream) Petroleum (Upstream) Niger Delta, Sustainable Development Goal. and Primary Health Care & Communicable Diseases, as committee that have not submitted their reports.
Others are Health, Capital Market, Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, FERMA, Works, Power and Cooperation and Integration committees.
Saraki concluded: “I am sorry to have chosen this method. I have no alternative than to list these committees so that these chairmen can know that they are holding all of us back. The listed committees have not submitted and they must submit unfailingly tomorrow (today).
“These 20 committees must ensure that their reports are submitted on Friday. We have a deadline which we have committed to. You can’t hold us back. You must submit unfailingly by Friday.”
The two chambers of the National Assembly scheduled April 24 to pass the 2018 budget.