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Buhari's 2018 Budget is dead on arrival, says Senator

“What are discussing about a document that is totally fictitious?” Abaribe asked.

The Abia south lawmaker stated this while contributing to the debate on the 2018 Budget on Tuesday, November 28, 2017.

Abaribe noted that the 2018 budget was predicated on "faulty foundations" going by the budget performance of 2016 and 2017.

“What are we discussing about a document that is totally fictitious?” Abaribe asked.

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Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan raised a point of order on Abaribe’s choice of word.

His words: “To call a document presented to the National Assembly by Mr President 'fictitious' is totally unparliamentarily.

“I raised this point of order with the understanding that my brother, friend and colleague would see reason to withdraw this word (fictitious) and use anything that is parliamentary acceptable,” Lawan cautioned.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu who presided over plenary advised Abaribe to “keep the language clean”.

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And Abaribe did.

“I’m just quoting the Senate leader in his speech. He said ‘The 2018 budget is designed to consolidate on the achievements of the 2016 and 2017 budget,"  he continued.

“What was done in 2017 when less than 15% of that budget was released? Nothing was done. That was why I said the 2018 budget is fictitious. If that is the word that the Senate leader is bothered about, I withdraw the word ‘fictitious’ and say that the 2018 budget is totally imaginary. Because nothing was done in 2017. That is a fact that we all know.

“In the leader’s speech, he said that there was so much money that was received in 2017 and therefore, there is an estimate of N11 trillion to be gotten. But we know that as at last week, the total receivables that this government got was one-tenth of what was stated publicly.

“In what sense will the 2018 budget be predicated on an assumption that the facts have already destroyed? You are assuming 11 trillion, yet, getting one trillion. That is why I said that the 2018 budget is imaginary,” he added.

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The Senate is yet to pass the 2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (2018).

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