OrderPaperToday – The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has denied reports that he blamed the National Assembly for the delay in the presentation of the 2019 budget estimate.
It would be recalled that the House during plenary today demanded apology from the Minister with a threat of boycotting the budget presentation ceremony over a comment credited to him on the budget presentation.
The threat followed a point of order moved by Chika Adamu (APC, Niger).
The leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila had assured the House that the Minister will address the issue.
He said: “The minister called me this morning; he was alarmed and upset and shocked. He said he was just reading something in the papers ascribed to him and that he never said such a thing and he is writing a rejoinder as we spoke.”
The Minister in a rejoinder released by his Special Adviser (Media and Communication) Akpandem James, blamed journalists for “misconstruing” his statement.
The statement reads: “Going by the headlines in some news media today in respect of the presentation of the 2019 Budget to the National Assembly, it is obvious that some of the reporters misconstrued the response of the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, when he was asked when the budget would be submitted to the Legislature.
“The Minister simply said that as is the procedure when the budget is ready, the Executive liaises with the National Assembly for a date which the Budget will be laid before the joint session of the Assembly; and that the process is on already.
“The Minister at no time throughout the interaction with the media blamed the National Assembly for the delay in the presentation, nor gave the impression that there was any issue between the two arms of government over the 2019 budget.”