The Federal Government has denied rumours making the rounds that the 2016 Appropriation Bill has been withdrawn from the National Assembly for certain “alterations”.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who stated this in a telephone interview with reporters yesterday, described the speculation as a “big lie”.
There were speculations at the weekend that President Muhammadu Buhari had written to the National Assembly requesting to withdraw the N6.08 trillion budget proposal he presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday, December 22.
Mr. Mohammed, however, stressed that the budget was not withdrawn, saying: “It is a big lie. There is nothing like that. We don’t know where they are getting that story”.
Speaking in the same vein, the Senate leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, denied that the budget proposal had been withdrawn.
He said it was impossible to withdraw the budget, adding that it could only be adjusted, if need be, during its defence at the National Assembly.
“It is not a document that you can just write and say you are withdrawing it. The budget proposal that has been laid at a joint session of the National Assembly cannot just be withdrawn like that. Budget proposal is not a document that is sacrosanct. You can adjust it and this is why it is before us. During the budget defence, it can be adjusted if need be”, he said.
Sen. Ndume also noted that the budget defence would start as soon as the lawmakers resume from their Christmas and New Year break on January 12.
“It is then that they can add or do whatever they want on it but it cannot be withdrawn like that”, he said.