Some Senators have voiced out their suspicion that the Presidency is behind the alleged missing 2016 budget document. The lawmakers said the intelligence they gathered so far suggested that the presidency discreetly withdrew the documents to enable it to make some necessary adjustments.
The Senators said the presidency had been combing through the budget for the past two weeks to remove provisions that had so far exposed the administration to ridicule. The truth of the missing documents was confirmed when one of the Senators said the executives have started delivering fresh copies of the budget documents to the National Assembly and that the details in the copies they are delivering are different from those in the version delivered to the National Assembly in December. Some adjustments have obviously been made.
“The executive have now started delivering fresh copies of the budget documents to the National Assembly. The details in the copies they are delivering are different from those in the version delivered to the National Assembly in December. Some adjustments have been made,” one of the anonymous senators said.
Meanwhile, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu in his interview with PremiumTimes has tried to clear any suspicions by saying:
“Nobody except the president can withdraw the budget and as far as we know, he hasn’t done that. The copies in their hundreds have been delivered to both chambers of the National Assembly. By tradition, once the budget is submitted, it ceases to be our property. Inquiries should be directed to the appropriate quarters.”
When contacted, the Minister of State for National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, expressed shock at reports of a missing budget. And went further to explain that ahead of Tuesday’s resumption of the Senate and House of Representatives, more than 400 copies of the document were delivered to the two chambers on Monday by the printer, for distribution to all members.
Mrs. Zainab Ahmed on Interview with PremiumTimes regarding the ‘missing budget’:
“After the official presentation of the budget by the President on December 22, 2015, both hard and soft copies were given to some key members of the Assembly. How can anyone say all the copies are missing?” she exclaimed
On Monday, the printer delivered more than 400 copies to the National Assembly for distribution to members and their aides. Another 100 copies were delivered this afternoon (Tuesday). Therefore, the same budget cannot be said to be missing.”
Mrs. Ahmed argued that if there is need to withdraw the budget, the same procedure with which it was presented by the president to the legislature would be followed.