2016 Budget Goje, Jibrin beg legislators to review document

The budget has caused controversy between the Presidency and the National Assembly with both parties trading blame.

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President Muhammadu Buhari delivering the 2016 budget at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria December 22, 2015. play President Muhammadu Buhari delivering the 2016 budget at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria December 22, 2015. (Reuters)
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Senator Danjuma Goje and House of Representatives member, Abdulmumin Jibrin have urged their colleagues in the National Assembly to choose the path of peace by amending the 2016 budget after President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his displeasure at some parts of the document.

The budget has caused controversy between the Presidency and the National Assembly with both parties trading blame.

Goje and Jibrin, who are the chairmen of the legislative committees on appropriation, made the appeal via a joint statement released on Sunday, April 24, 2016.

Read the full statement below:

Following the transmission on of the 2016 appropriation bill and details passed by the National Assembly, there have been all manner of misinformation, misrepresentations and innuendos about the roles played by the Joint Committees on Appropriation in the course of passing the budget.

Even though most of the allegations, especially those specifically levelled against the two of us, as chairmen of the committee, are unfounded, we intend to respond to them at the appropriate time. For now, what we consider important is to resolve the impasse around the budget and get it assented to so that its implementation can begin in the interest of all Nigerians.

However, we must put it on record that the details aggregated and transmitted to the executive are largely the inputs we received from the standing committees of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Given the foregoing, and all factors considered, we hereby state that we have had enough controversy over the 2016 budget. What is needful right now is a resolution of the differences and to that end, we call on our colleagues in the National Assembly to accede to the request by  His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari to have a second look at the details and make the necessary adjustments so that he can assent.

This, in our opinion, should not go beyond this week. To the extent that there are already ongoing consultations, a debate about who is right or wrong is unhelpful in the circumstance; and in any case, does not advance the cause of our country men and women whose interest we have been elected to serve.

Nevertheless, we must commend President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara and the entire members of the National Assembly, members of the federal executive council, the Minister of Budget and the budget team for their cooperation even as we assure all Nigerians that we will do everything to protect and defend their interest, at all times.

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