Senator Shehu Sani (APC/Kaduna Central) has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing of the 2018 Appropriation Bill in spite of his concerns over the changes made by the National Assembly.
The Executive had submitted a budget proposal of N8.612 trillion to the federal lawmakers on 7 November, 2017.
But the Legislature increased the proposal by N508 billion to N9.12 trillion, when they passed the Bill on 16 May, 2018.
The Nigerian leader, after signing the passed bill into law on Wednesday, raised some concerns over the alterations.
According to the commander in chief, the federal lawmakers made reductions amounting to N347bn in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578bn.
“The logic behind the constitutional direction that budgets should be proposed by the Executive is that, it is the Executive that knows & defines its policies & projects,” the president had said.
“Unfortunately, that has not been given much regard in what has been sent to me. The National Assembly made cuts amounting to N347 billion in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to N578 billion.”
In his reaction, Sani asked, “Why should Mr President, a person known for only doing what is right and always right append his signature to a document he considers fraudulent or dubious or full of insertions or subtractions?
“Who is that so powerful to compel the President to do what is wrong?
“The Committee On Appropriation publicity stated that the adjustment was done in concert and concord with the Ministers. Why is there no denial yet? And If the Ministers acted without the consent of the President why are they not yet fired?”
He also said, “I can confirm that the relevant persons in the Senate will point by point respond to the issues raised by Mr President. One side of the story cannot produce a fair judgment.
“The President supposed to reject and return the Budget and not sign on what he considers wrong. Signatures should reflect our conscience and not our compulsion.”