Nigerian Senate Leader, Senator Muhammed Ndume who was alleged to have told his colleagues that the soft and hard copies of 2016 budget was missing from the National Assembly at an executive session on Tuesday has denied the claim.
In reaction to the story of the missing budget which spread like wildfire on Tuesday, the Senate leader said there is no way budget can be missing. According to him, there is the ceremonial copy laid by President Muhammadu Buhari before the National Assembly while each chamber also has its own copy of the budget proposal.
Ndume refused to confirm if the ceremonial copy laid before the National Assembly by the President is missing.
“Budget cannot be missing. One copy can be laid. It is a symbolic copy. The budget will be in custody of both chambers. It cannot be stolen. It cannot be missing,” Ndume said.
“Once the budget is laid in the National Assembly, it has become the property of National Assembly. Senate President Bukola Saraki had refused to confirm or refute report of the missing budget when he was confronted by journalists after a meeting with President Buhari on Tuesday.
But the Senate leader said the visit of Saraki was also in relation to the work that is about to commence by the Senators on the budget: “Saraki’s visit to Vila is for Senate to know the President’s priority. We want to see how we can fast track the passage of the budget before the end of February. What is before the Senate is a proposal. Once the President signs it, it cannot be amended. We can turn the budget upside down. It cannot be missing.”