Buhari Writes Senate, Explains Controversy Over 2016 Budget

PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARIPresident Muhammadu Buhari has formally notified the Senate of an alteration to the 2016 Appropriation Bill he presented before a joint session of the National Assembly last December.

He, however, insisted that the “draft bill remains the same and there are no changes in any of the figures”.

The President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, read Mr. Buhari’s letter at the Senate plenary on Tuesday.

A copy of the document containing the corrections was attached to the letter.

The letter dated January 15, 2016 reads: ‪“It will be recalled that on Tuesday, 22 December, 2015, I presented my 2016 budget proposals to the joint sitting of the national assembly. I submitted a draft bill accompanied by a schedule of details.

“At the time of submission, we indicated that because the details had just been produced, we would have had to check to ensure that there were no errors in the detailed breakdown contained in the schedule.

“That has since been completed and I understand that the corrections have been submitted.

“The national assembly would therefore have the details as submitted on the 22nd and a copy containing the corrections submitted last week. It appears that this has led to some confusion.

“In this regard, please find attached the corrected version. This is the version the national assembly should work with as my 2016 budget estimates. The draft bill remains the same and there are no changes in any of the figures”.

After reading the president’s letter, Saraki asked the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, to ensure the copies of the corrected document were circulated before the end of Tuesday to enable senators get copies ahead of the commencement of debate on the budget Wednesday.