By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to desist from playing politics with sensitive issues, such as budgeting process.
According to the Senate, blaming the National Assembly, NASS, for the annual delay in the passage of the Appropriation Act is not only unfortunate, but only shows that the executive arm is not saying the truth.
Reacting, yesterday, to a recent statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari blaming the National Assembly for the delay in the passage of the Appropriation Act annually, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Biodun Olujimi, PDP, Ekiti South, said: “The President himself, in June this year, expressed surprise during a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly, when he was confronted with the fact that ministers and heads of other agencies have refused to defend the budget proposals of their ministries and agencies before legislative committees.
“On that occasion, the President stated that the information was contrary to what he was fed by his aides before coming for the meeting.
“He then ordered the Secretary to the Govern-ment of the Federation to compel all heads of MDAs to immediately appear before the respective committees so that the budget can be passed.”
“It is a well known fact that some ministers had in the past appeared before the National Assembly committees and denied certain provisions in the budget of their ministries.
“In one instance, Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, denied the provision made for the purchase of computers in his ministry as stated in the budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly.
“This kind of disconnect between budget proposals and the position of the heads of MDAs made the National Assembly to insist on budget defence by heads of MDAs.”