Senate Will Concur With Reps After Re-examination Of 2016 Budget, Says Ndume

Ali NdumeThe Senate has said the lingering controversy over the 2016 budget is one of the tenets of Democracy.
This is just as it said it would concur with the House of Representatives after the latter’s re-examination of the fiscal document.
While the Senate said it would not be arm-twisted into revisiting the 2016 budget and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign it into law as passed by the National Assembly, the House on Wednesday, said in the national interest, it would re-examine the budget and resolve any differences with the Executive.
The Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, who stressed that the House of Representatives did nothing ‘bad’ by taking a different stance, however, said the budget must be brought to the Senate after the re-examination for concurrence.
“If they do so, there is nothing bad; we are going to concur with them”, he said in an interview with a Daily Trust reporter yesterday.
“There are so many things that we do and they will concur; also there are things that they do and we will concur.
“So, if that is what they are doing, they have to bring it to us, so that we can concur. They cannot work on anything without us, so even if we don’t re-examine it, we will concur with them”, Ndume said.
He added that the controversy over the budget was not a new thing, saying they had similar experiences with former Presidents Olusegun Obsanjo and Goodluck Jonathan.
“In 2010, the Presidency returned the budget and we amended it. Aside from amendment, the budget can be reviewed through virement or supplementary budget. These are openings to correct disagreement like this.
“This is not peculiar do us alone, in America that we are copying … when there is a standoff between the executive and the congress on budget, it led to the shutting down of the government.
“But ours will not lead to this because we are not quarrelling, we are only disagreeing to agree and this is one of the tenets of democracy”, he said.
The All Progressives Congress senator also denied reports that Buhari has returned the budget back to the National Assembly.

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