The senator representing Borno south, Senator Ali Ndume, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter on the request to present the 2019 budget on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 is yet to be read on the floor of the senate.
Senator Ndume stated this while speaking on the importance of the presentation. The senator also pleaded with members of the house of representatives who threatened to boycott the budget presentation to have a rethink.
You will recall that some members of the lower legislative chamber had threatened to boycott the budget presentation over a comment credited to Udoma Udoma, minister of budget and national planning that the national assembly was responsible for the delay in presentation, a statement the minister later clarified.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a chat on Saturday, December 15, 2018, Senator Ndume urged the federal lawmakers who issued the threat to reconsider their position in the interest of the nation.
He noted that for the quick passage of the budget proposal, it was imperative for it to reach the parliament before the Christmas break. He said that:
“I understand the reactions of the honourable members, is as a result of the unnecessary comment credited to the minister of budget as to who is responsible for the delay.
“My take on this is that two wrongs do not make a right and I want to appeal to my colleagues in the house of representatives to have a rethink because the president is not responsible for what the minister was alleged to have said.
“I feel national interest should be placed above any individual or group interest. As for the senate, the letter from Mr. President as to when to present the budget has not been read.
“I feel the best thing to do is for the president to present the budget, especially before we go on Christmas break so that copies of the budget will be circulated to members to enable them start work on it.
“On resumption immediately after Christmas, we will start working on considering the budget for passage.
“So, I feel the reasonable thing to do is to receive Mr. President in a joint session because it is very key to our national interest”.