Clerk to the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa has made it clear that the delay in submitting the 2014 national budget to President Goodluck Jonathan for his assent was not caused by him.
Maikasuwa, who was reacting to allegation that he delayed the transmission of the bill to the President for assent, at an interview today, said that it was only on April 16 that the bill came to his table.
The Senate had passed the N4.6tr budget on April 9, while the House of Representatives passed it on April 10. The two chambers had upped the total estimates by over N53bn from Jonathan’s original version.
Maikasuwa explained that though the two chambers acted on the budget on the 9th and 10th respectively, it was not until April 16 that the copy reached his desks from the clerks to the chambers.
He added that on getting the copy, he had to forward it to the Legal Unit for necessary cross-checking, adding: “you see, usually, there will be one or two errors to be corrected.
“It is a budget and we must be careful to remove the errors; that is the work of the legal unit. It is not true that I delayed it.
“By God’s grace, the budget will be transmitted to the President for his assent on Tuesday this week.”
President Jonathan is expected to sign the bill into law immediately it gets to his table.