Saraki Opens Up On 2017 Budget Brouhaha With Executive
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki has clarified the role of the senate in the passing and signing of the 2017 appropriation bill into law.
He said at the plenary on Thursday that the senate never conceded its constitutional responsibility to the executive in making the bill signed into law but had only behaved responsibly to move the nation forward.
He said this while responding to a Point of Order by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, APC, Kebbi South over the statement credited to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo that the senate had no power to appropriate money for new budget.
Saraki said that the acting president must have been quoted out of context because the leadership of the National Assembly and the executive had met and trashed out issues that could have delayed the budget the more.
Acting president was quoted to have said that the legislature had no right to infuse new project in the budget, which of course was the main reason the 2016 appropriation bill was eventually delayed from becoming law.
Quoting Osinbajo, “When you present a budget to the National Assembly, it is presented as a bill, an appropriation bill. “The lawmakers do not introduce entirely new projects and all of that or modify projects.”
However, Saraki said that the matter had been cleared during his interaction with the acting president and that there was nothing vague about it.
He said that as responsible statesmen, there are times the two arms of the government consult to shift position, adding that, that should not been seen as conceding the legislative powers to the executive.