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2016 Budget ‘We didn’t reject budget,’ Presidency denies reports

The denial was made by Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang on Monday, April 11, 2016.

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The Presidency has denied reports that the 2016 budget submitted by the National Assembly has been rejected by President Muhammmadu Buhari.

The denial was made by Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang on Monday, April 11, 2016.

“The president received the budget and convened an emergency Federal Executive Council meeting. He gave each of the ministers, departments and agencies the opportunity to look at the details as submitted by the National Assembly,” Enang said.

“This is to enable him get opinion on the state of the budget to enable him take a decision. The exercise was conducted on Friday and it is ongoing by the different ministers and ministries.

“The constitutional time frame for Mr President’s receiving and considering the budget began on Friday last week. The question has not arisen as to returning or otherwise. But, I want to say the best way we as liaison officers are handling this matter is to speak less and work more, creating interactions.

“So, we will raise more interactions, consultations, engagements. There is nothing for the country to worry about, because we do not want to have crisis between the Executive and the Legislature, and it would not arise; this is one government,” he added.

The budget has been the centre of controversy since it was reported missing from the Assembly premises in January.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki later said that two different versions of the document had been submitted to the legislative house.

The controversy led to the sacking of the Director General of the budget office, Yahaya Gusau and the redeployment of 22 officials from the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

The budget was finally passed on March 23, 2016 after the Senate and the House of Representatives both received the requisite report from the Joint Committee on Appropriation.

The controversy did not stop there however as President Buhari refused  to sign the budget without being aware of the final details which were yet to be sent by the Assembly.

The details were eventually sent to the president on April 7.

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