Nigerian lawmakers have threatened to boycott the presentation of 2019 budget estimates by President Muhammadu Buhari. This, according to some members of the House of Representatives, is as a result of the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma’s comment.
The Minister had said the parliament is responsible for the delay in the presentation of the budget.
Citing Order 6, rule 4 under mater of privilege, Hon. Abubakar Chika Adamu representing Shiroro, Munya and Rafi Federal Constituency of Niger State, said the Minister of Budget and Planning must apologise to the House of Representatives over the report that he attributed the delay in the budget presentation to the lawmakers.
“The Minister of Budget and Planning bridged my privilege and other members of the House where the media (print particularly) reported that he said the National Assembly is frustrating presentation of the budget by not giving a date for its presentation. The Minister should apologise to the National Assembly and retract his statement.”
Also addressing the issue, Hon. Mark Gbilah said the minister lied on television and that his comments were not just on newspapers. He added that there was no need for investigations as the minister had lied against the honourable house.
Gbilah maintained that he joins his colleagues to demand a public apology on television from the minister. The legislator said that the House should shun next week’s budget presentation by the president if the minister is not made to formally apologise to the house.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, President Buhari will present the 2019 Appropriation Bill before the Federal lawmakers on Wednesday, December 19, 2018. The president has communicated this to the National Assembly in a letter read at plenary on Thursday by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
In his letter addressed to Speaker Dogara, President Buhari said
“May I crave the kind indulgence of the House of Representatives to grant me the slot of 11:00 hours Wednesday, December 19, 2018 to formerly present the 2019 Appropriation Bill to the Joint Session of the National Assembly.”