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2018 Budget: National Assembly Replies Buhari


The National Assembly leadership has spoken on the accusation by President Muhammadu Buhari on the manipulation of the 2018 budget estimates sent to the lawmakers.

Mr Buhari on Wednesday signed the N9.1 trillion 2018 appropriation bill into law in his office at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

In his speech during the budget signing, Mr Buhari observed that “The National Assembly made cuts amounting to 347 billion Naira in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to 578 billion Naira.”

He said many of the projects cut were essential ones while many of those inserted were not relevant to the federal government.

The president also complained of the period it took the National Assembly to pass the budget. He said he submitted the budget on November 7, 2017 with a view to passage by December 2018.

In their reaction, Bala Na’ Allah, the deputy leader of the Senate who represented Senate President Bukola Saraki, and the Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Doguwa, who represented Speaker Yakubu Dogara, said the lawmakers had no option than to tinker with the budget estimates.

Mr Na’ Allah said their job as parliamentarians is a difficult one.

“The way the budget came, if we had allowed it to go that way, we would have been in trouble with those who elected us,” the lawmaker told journalists after the budget signing ceremony.

The senator also said they decided to alter the budget in order “to balance between the six geo political zones” across the country.

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