2016 budget formulated on new template, say lawmakers
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Danjuma Goje and his House of Representatives counterpart, Abdulmumin Jibrin, yesterday said the National Assembly passed the harmonised 2016 budget that was formulated on a new template of $38 per barrel, different from what had existed in the past 16 years.
Addressing a joint press conference after the passage by both chambers yesterday, the lawmakers called for more collaboration between the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and the budget office to avoid a reoccurrence of the errors detected in the budget.
Specifically, Goje advised the executive to henceforth present the budget early to the National Assembly to ensure a quick passage.
He assured that the National Assembly will diligently embark on its oversight to make sure the budget when signed into law is fully implemented in the interest of Nigerians.
“One major high point of this budget is that the N500 billion earmarked by President Muhammadu Buhari for the various special intervention programmes to assist the poor hasn’t been tampered with in order to alleviate the sufferings of our people,” Goje added.
Also speaking, Jibrin said that the National Assembly has for the first time introduced a novelty by reducing the aggregate expenditure of the Federal Government as against the practice of increasing the budget since 1999.
He explained that the lawmakers decided on this option because of the dwindling revenues from oil and other sources.
He said that the National Assembly has been able to substantially clean up the budget, adding that “this is the first time there is a transition not only from one government to another, but from one political party to another and we are sure that the executive will have learnt its lessons, and we are sure these issues will not repeat themselves.”
He declared, however, that there were some omissions detected in the budget which both the executive and National Assembly attempted to address, such as the improper computation of the allowances of National Youth Corps members that will be mobilised for 2016.
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