17 April 2016
In a press release published yesterday, Monday 11th April, 2016, the Nigerian Senate warned the Presidency to come clean regarding accusations against the Senate on the 2016 Budget and appealed to the Federal Government to desist from blaming the Senate in an attempt to cover up its own alleged errors.
The statement which was signed by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the Chairman Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, referred to the Minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi’s role in the issue as “reckless, uncalled for and dangerously divisive” adding that, “we hereby demand from Mr Amaechi a publicly tendered apology if he is not able to show evidence that the Lagos-Calabar road project was included in the budget. Otherwise, he should resign forthwith”.
It further quoted Section 81 subsection (4) (a) and (b) of the constitution which allows the budget to be signed and implementation of the other areas that constitute 90 per cent of the budget where there is agreement to begin even as the executive and legislative continue discussions to resolve the remaining discrepancies in the budget.
It thus called on the President to sign the budget so that implementation can begin, stating that, “we therefore urge President Buhari to sign the 2016 budget without any further delay. For every additional day that the President withholds his assent from the bill, the hardship in the land, which is already becoming intolerable for the masses of our people gets even more complicated.”
Concerning the allegations making rounds about the missing project, the press release stated that, “we make bold to say however, that the said Lagos-Calabar rail project was not included in the budget proposal presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari and we challenge anyone who has any evidence to the contrary to present such to Nigerians”.