Why 2014 budget presentation was postponed – Senate




By SundiataPOST, Abuja

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The Senate on Tuesday in Abuja said President Goodluck Jonathan postponed the presentation of the 2014 budget due to “certain exigencies’’.

Jonathan had written to the National Assembly last week seeking to present the budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday, November 12.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, told newsmen that no further reason was given by the presidency for the postponement.

He said the postponement was conveyed in a correspondence to the lawmakers.

“It was supposed to happen today, but the President wrote to the National Assembly asking that the event be put off till Nov. 19 due to exigencies that were beyond the control of the Presidency.

“The reasons were not made known, but if the President asks us to give him one more week I don’t think there is any reason for us to start looking for the `whys’.

“We think that if he needs more time, we should give him more time,’’ Abaribe said.

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The Senate spokesman, however, added that both chambers of the National Assembly were looking forward to hosting and listening to Jonathan during the joint session on Nov. 19.

Abaribe said it was wrong as being insinuated that the postponement was because of the lawmakers’ inability to debate and pass the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

He said the MTEF report had been presented to the Senate.

Abaribe also said there was the possibility that the budget could be passed before the end of the year.

“Miracles have been known to happen and another miracle can happen and we will pass it. We will do our best within the time limit that we have,’’ he said.

The senator said the National Assembly was, beyond passing the budget 2014, far more focused on making sure that the 2013 budget was fully implemented.

“We also expect that the 2013 budget will be fully implemented because Nigerians need everything that can improve our economy,’’ he told newsmen.

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