OrderPaperToday – President Muhammadu Buhari has communicated to the National Assembly that he would present the 2019 budget estimate by Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
This disclosure however caused a mild drama in the House of Representatives as some members reacted to media reports which implied that the National Assembly was stalling the budget presentation by not making a date available for the President.
Speaker Yakubu Dogara read at Thursday’s plenary read the letter from President Buhari asking for Wednesday next week to enable him make 2019 budget presentation before the House.
Dogara while concluding noted that the letter was brought to the House just this morning.
Shortly after Speaker Dogara read the letter, a point of order was raised by Mr. Adamu Chika (APC, Niger) that his and other members’ privilege has been breached.
According to him, as at yesterday, the Minister of Budget and National Planning had reportedly told Nigerians that the Executive waiting for the National Assembly to give them date only for the letter to appear today.
This is portraying the members of the legislature in bad light in the eyes of the public, according to Mr. Chika.
Speaking on the issue, Mr. Rotimi Agunsoye (APC, Lagos) advised that the minister be called to explain his comment or else the House should take action.
On his part, Mr. Mark Gbilah (PDP, Benue) said: “For lying to the public, we want the minister to formally apologize to the House else the House should boycott the budget presentation by President Buhari.”
Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila (APC, Lagos) however rose and offer what looked like a clarification.
“The minister called me this morning that he is shocked that he just read the story on one of the dailies. He said he will write a rejoinder that he never made such claims as reported,” the leader said.