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Buhari Should Not Expect National Assembly To Rubber Stamp 2018 Budget – Na Allah

Sen. Bala Ibn Na Allah

Senator Bala Ibn Na Allah has responded to Present Muhammadu Buhari by saying that he should not expect the National Assembly to rubber stamp the 2018 budget which the President just signed into law today, Wednesday.
“Certainly, you wouldn’t expect us to just rubber stamp and just bring it back. We have to do the nitty gritty of budget consideration. Whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well and we have done what we think is the right thing to do to deliver on the expectations and the mandate bestowed on us by the people of our constituencies.”
Na Allah, who spoke to news men at the presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after President Buhari signed the budget, in reaction to President’s complaint of increased in the budget,  described the job of parliamentarians as a very 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. you have to balance between the six geo political zones.
“It is the balancing efforts by the National Assembly that led to those observations and happily enough, he himself has said he is coming with a supplementary budget which will be dealt with as quickly as possible. I assure you about that one.”
Senator Na Allah explained that supplementary budgets don’t normally last long, adding that the one it will be built on what has already been done by the National Assembly.
I think that is the most important issue.
“About the issue of delay, the president is right, but at the same time, if you remember, you were here, the president had to order some MDAs to appear before the Assembly for the purpose of defending their budgets.
“It’s a very delicate issue, if somebody said he wants N500 million for the maintenance of bridges nationwide, then you expect the National Assembly to say Ok, that budget is approved because it came from the executive, then we have not done our work, we will be interested in knowing which of the roads are you going to maintain so that again, we don’t give another allocation in the next budget.
“Those observations are correct but in the budgeting process those things are normal.”
“I think some of these major concerns Mr President has raised are very critical and I am afraid if I should be in a position to respond on behalf of the House. But for me as an individual and a member of the House of Representatives, I want to belief that the president is at liberty to raise some of these observations. But the most important thing you have to know is that the budget has been signed and is now a law of the federation and we expect the executive to now implement the law to the latter.
“Should the president however, brings about an amendments or a supplementary  budget for the National Assembly to consider. We will also at the same time be at liberty to look at the president’s concerns and those things he wants us to now review and I want to belief the National Assembly is always in a position to work hand in hand with Mr President.
“A lot of us in both chambers of the National Assembly have tremendous respect for Mr President and we cherish his moral integrity as a leader.
“I want to believe we will always play in tune to his expectations to make him deliver on the dividends of democracy that he promised especially in this period of election.
“Some of us that are in the APC, and even a lot of members that are in opposition are quiet aware of the enormous responsibility on the shoulders of Mr President.
Now is the right time to cooperate with Mr President and give him what he desires as the leader of the government.”