Reps may boycott 2019 budget presentation
Nigeria House of Representatives members may boycott the presentation of 2019 budget proposal by President Muhammadu Buhari over an alleged comment by Udo Udoma minister of budget and national planning.
Buhari on Thursday announced that he will have the budget proposal presentation next Wednesday.
The letter was read by the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, on the floor of the House.
The letter was read less than 24hrs after Udoma, said the president was yet to get a date from the National Assembly for the presentation of the appropriation bill.
Udoma said Buhari had last week transmitted the budget proposals to the legislature, the minister said the delay was due to the inability of the federal lawmakers to give their green light for the presentation.
DOgara, however, denied it stating that the 2019 Appropriation bill was only approved last week Friday and there was no way the National Assembly would have delayed it.
“Until this morning, nobody had requested for a date for budget presentation. The letter was only submitted today,” Dogara said.
Reacting to a point of order on the minister’s alleged accusations, a People’s Democratic Party member, Mark Gbilah, said the minister lied against the honourable house.
Gbillah said he joins his colleagues to demand a public apology on television from the minister.
The legislator said that the house should shun next week’s budget presentation by the president if the minister is not made to formally apologise to the house.
However, majority leader of the house and a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress Femi Gbajabiamiila denied the allegations of the PDP reps.
Gbajabiamiila said that the minister had called him to deny the report and that the minister said he was writing a rejoinder at the time of the call.
He urged the house to hold on a bit for the minister to make public his position before the house takes any radical decision.
Dogara, however, pleaded that “the honourable members” wait till evening for the said rejoinder.
“But if we do not see that, we will not allow this institution to be blackmailed,” he said.
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