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Legislators to pass 2016 budget today, March 23

The budget is set to finally be passed after the Senate and the House of Representatives both received the requisite report from the Joint Committee on Appropriation.

President Muhammadu Buhari delivering the 2016 budget at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria December 22, 2015.

The report was presented to the Senate by the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje on Tuesday, March 22.

“We have perfected necessary arrangements to ensure that the budget is considered and passed before we proceed on recess tomorrow (Wednesday),” the Chairman, Senate Committee on Education (Basic), Senator Aliyu Wamakko told Punch.

The legislators had earlier said that the document had too many errorsand couldn’t be passed as it was.

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“We are here in connection with the ongoing processing of the 2016 Budget because these two committees are the ones saddled with the production of the final copies of the budget that would be passed by the National Assembly for onward submission to Mr President for his assent and subsequent implementation,” Goje said on February 9.

“We want to remove all ambiguities, we want to remove all paddings. We want to produce a budget that is in line with the constitutional provision. During the budget defence, a lot of issues based on the padding of the budget, arising from over-bloated overheads and in some instances cases of over-bloated personnel cost. But generally, there has been a lot of issues. The appropriation committee would look at these issues after the whole budget defence and do a very thorough work aimed at doing a proper clean-up of the budget," 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 officialsfrom the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

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