Speaker of the House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara, on Wednesday, expressed the readiness of the house to review the 2016 budget following the controversy surrounding the bill.
The Speaker made this known on Wednesday after an executive session with members of the house. He noted that “to re-examine the 2016 budget in view of the prevailing circumstances in Nigeria.”
It would be recalled that the Senate had on Tuesday, through its spokesperson, Abdullahi Sabi, disclosed that the senate was also ready to re-examine the controversial budget, saying that the Presidency can submit a supplementary appropriation bill containing the contentious Lagos-Calabar rail project.
But on Wednesday, Abdulrazak Namdas, spokesperson of the House of Representatives, while briefing journalists, stated that: “we were fully briefed by the chairman appropriation committee and we agreed as a chamber, as a house to delegate the speaker to please go ahead and engage the executive to identify the areas of concern and that he should report back to us with the hope that these things are in the national interest, and see that this country move forward.”
“There are issues in particular, the Calabar-Lagos rail project that has been in the media, I want to reiterate here for the second time that the project was not among the project submitted by the president to the national assembly.”
“We are not saying that as a house that the Calabar-Lagos rail project is not good; we know it is a viable project. Our own area of concern is that people say this thing was in the budget and we removed it.”
“That is why we are making these clarifications; and again, I want to state it clearly up till now as I speak, there is no communication from the executive, the president to the national assembly, as I speak about the budget.”
“All that we read in the media are other people’s opinions but Mr President has not come out clearly this and this is my problem with the budget that has been passed because as we were told, this budget has been taken back to ministries for them to examine and get back to the president.”
“That is why we asked our speaker to liaise with the executive to lets us know what the issue is, because we are elected by the people and we are here to serve Nigerians.”