2013 Budget: Opposition Reps Threaten To Override Jonathan’s Veto

President-Goodluck-Jonathan-laying-the-budget-proposal-before-the-National-Assembly-480x3361Opposition party members in the House of Representatives on Thursday threatened to override President Goodluck Jonathan’s veto on the 2013 budget if he fails to sign it.

The document which was sent to Jonathan three weeks ago for assent, has not been signed thereby leading to speculations that he will not sign the N4.9tr budget and reigniting reports of a strained relationship between the National Assembly and the Presidency.

There were claims that the legislature and the Presidency had disagreements over “padded constituency projects”, but neither side has yet to confirm this publicly.

On Wednesday, the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, blamed the delay on “typographical errors” in the document, dismissing speculation of its return to the legislature.

Rising from a meeting on Thursday, opposition lawmakers from the Action Congress of Nigeria, All Nigeria Peoples Party, Congress for Progressive Change and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, warned that they would vote to override Jonathan if the delay turned out to be a veto.

The Minority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, who gave their position at a news conference, said, “We call on Mr. President to very quickly sign the 2013 budget and we will work with him on this if there are genuine grey areas.

“We are already in February and a situation where the legislature will have to over ride his presidential veto as constitutionally provided is not a good way to start the year or foster a good legislative-executive relationship.

“We also ask that Mr. President begins to respect official resolutions from an equal arm of government as these resolutions are always in national interest.

“If two heads are better than one; then 360 heads are better than one” he noted.

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