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Don’t blame NASS over delay in budget presentation, says Lasun


 Sulaimon Yussuff Lassun

Sulaimon Yussuff Lassun

Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Engr. Sulaimon Yussuff Lasun yesterday insisted that the National Assembly should not be blamed  over the delay by President Muhammadu Buhari to present the 2017 budget for consideration.

Lasun who spoke extempore while inaugurating the House ad hoc committee on the activities of the federally owned development finance institutions (DFIs) enjoined those who have heaped the blame on the National Assembly to redirect their misgiving to the Executive.

Acknowledging that the National Assembly was yet to come to terms with the executive arm on the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF/fiscal strategy paper (FSP), he said it was unfortunate that the entire 469 members of both arms of the National Assembly were perceived as a bunch of dunce that could not identify the defects in the MTF/FSP.

Lasun stated that MTEF/FSP presented the executive arm fell short of taking cognisance of the shortfalls in both the production and income from oil which is the mainstay of the country’s economy, aside the fact that government agencies are yet to reach a concensus on foreign exchange.

Saying the national assembly would work asidioualy to ensure the success of the president Buhari led administration, he noted: “The last couple of days there has been consistent publications on the fact that the National Assembly is deliberately delaying the presentation of 2017 budget by Mr President in one of the features read in daily publication.

“A question was asked are we saying that we are better than all the experts that MTEF and the drawing plan has been presented through the public. People have forgotten we 360 representatives members, 109 senators I doubt if 469 people will not have at least 50 that will  be experts in human endeavours, so if the National Assembly either by way not performing this legislative functions or because of their professional callings put to question some of the documents presented by thr executive then people at least should give us the benefit of doubts that all the 469 members of National Assembly  are not dullards.

“In the last 3 years we have not done up to 2.2 million barrels and our budget has been consistently premised on at least 2.2 million barrel per day and at best we have achieved is 1.8 million barrels per day and so if National Assembly says please go and look at this so that you know what to do before you bring your budget, I don’t think that needs an expert advise.”

In a welcome address, the chairman of the adhoc committee, Mr Chukwuemeka Anohu explained that the resolve to probe the bank of industry (BOI), the bank of agriculture (BOA), the Nigeria export -import bank (NEXIM), the Nigeria export promotion council (NEPC), the small and medium scale enterprises agency (SMEDAN), the national economic reconstruction fund (NERFUND) and the federal mortgage bank of Nigeria (FMBN) was aimed stimulating the economy.

He assured that no stone would be left unturned as there shall be no sacred cows in the quest by the committee to reposition the development finance institution in Nigeria.

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