The 2016 budget proposal would be passed in the second week of March, the House of Representatives has said.
The Senate and the House had last week said the February 25 deadline they set for themselves to pass the budget was no longer feasible owing to discrepancies.
The House of Reps’ position on the budget is in tandem with the declaration by the Senate leader, Ali Ndume, who told reporters at the weekend in Abuja that the red chamber would pass the document before the end of the first quarter.
Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, who spoke while receiving the report of the House committee on the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) yesterday in Abuja, said the green chamber was working towards meeting the March deadline.
He also denied media reports that the National Assembly had suspended passage of the budget ‘indefinitely’, saying “What we said was that due to the errors discovered, we will need additional time to take a second look at the budget and to also take on the minister of finance and the minister of budget and national planning”.
“I can confirm to you clearly that the extension of time is to allow appropriation committee to do a necessary cleaning up. Taking this into consideration, the budget will be passed by the second week of March,” he said.
Rep. Jibrin said his committee would throughout this week be receiving budget reports from the various standing committees of the House and would work on them accordingly.
“We expect that all the standing committees should come within the week. By Friday, any committee that fails to turn up will forfeit its slot”, he said.
The chairman of the FRSC committee, Rep. Abubakar Ahmad Yunusa, had told the Jibrin-led committee that based on their findings, the commission has since keyed into the federal government’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) as directed by the federal government.
He also said the committee had raised FRSC’s N16 million proposal for publicity to N58 million in view of the fact that publicity is expensive.