The National Assembly has justified its adjustments of some budgetary provisions in the 2018 Appropriation Bill which raised the N8.60 trillion earlier proposed by the Executive arm of government to N9.12 trillion when the Bill was passed.
The legislators hinged their action on its constitutionality as well as the need to ensure that adequate funds were provided for some key sectors which, they claimed, had direct bearing on the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizenry.
Speaking in an interview on Channels Television programme, the spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, explained that the “makers of the Constitution never envisaged that when a proposal is laid before the National Assembly we should return it the way the President or the executive brought it.
“If that is the case, there would be no point bringing it to the National Assembly. But the makers of this constitution know that there must be a second opinion because they are elected representatives of the people. For us to tinker with the budget is our duty.”
“I am elected like any other 360 members of the House of Reps and 190 Senators. We represent consistencies. We know the issues on ground, so when we are working on this budget, you need to work to ensure that every part of this budget has fair share of the commonwealth of the nation”, the lawmaker stressed.
The lawmakers’ position was in reaction to President Muhammadu Buhari’s concerns on the adjusted figures which he raised while signing the budget yesterday.
The president said that the Executive arm would forward a supplementary budget to the National Assembly in order to ensure that the objectives of the 2018 budget are realized.