Members of the Senate at the plenary today didn’t spare the executive as they took turns to criticise the 2018 Appropriation Bill presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari saying it was badly prepared.
The lawmakers accused the Executive of not showing coordination and seriousness the budget proposal deserves. The Senate President Bukola Saraki was displeased that heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) travelled out of the country at a time they should be defending their respective budgets.
“Truly it is very disappointing and disheartening to hear the various experiences of the committees, how can anybody in the executive be so irresponsible to pick this period of time to be travelling, they’ve had all time to travel.” Saraki said.
Contributing to the debate, Senator Lanre Tejuoso accused the Executive of lack of seriousness in the handling of the budget. He said “there is no good coordination between the executive and the legislative. The MDAs are not ready for the budget defence, most MDA heads are out of the Country.”
Also speaking, Senator Solomon O. Adeola said it was obvious the Executive is not prepared for the budget to be passed.
‘How can we consider the 2018 budget when we cannot get the performance of the 2017 budget? There is no need for us to be in a hurry, the executive arm is not ready for the budget to be passed. Ministry of Power and some MDAs came unprepared’ Adeola said.
Adding his voice to the debate, Senator Dino Melaye said: “It was clear the 2017 budget would be rolled over, there is no relationship between the 2017 and 2018 budget. We need to strengthen the capacity of our treasury, no kobo was paid by the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission in 2016 & 2017 which is leaving our revenue hanging.”