Members of the Senate have explained the reason why five days after its passage by the National Assembly, the 2017 budget was yet to be transmitted to the presidency for consideration and assent.
Briefing newsmen on Tuesday, Senate spokesman, Senator Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North), explained that the passage of the budget does not automatically mean that the document would be transmitted immediately to the presidency, as the joint Committees on Appropriation still had to authenticate the bill.
He said the document was to be transmitted on Tuesday or at the latest Wednesday to the presidency.
Both chambers of the legislature last Thursday had passed the federal spending bill and also adopted the votes and proceedings of their respective plenary sessions, in the bid to fast track the transmission of the document to the presidency.
However, Abdullahi said on Tuesday: “After the budget is passed, the Appropriation Committees have to do some authentication to avoid just any kind of document flying around.
“Any moment from now, today (Tuesday) or tomorrow (Wednesday), it would be transmitted to the presidency. Let us allow those who have been given certain responsibilities do their job, which must include certain protocols.
“Remember that we had to adjourn and reconvene to approve the votes and proceedings to allow them continue the process. If not, they would not be able to do anything on the document.
“If we had waited till today (Tuesday) to approve the votes and proceedings, it means they would have had to start today with the authentication.”
Abdullahi did not clarify what the authentication of the budget meant, but the Special Assistant to the Senate President, New Media, Mr. Omishore Bamikole, in a tweet, explained that each page of the 600-paged document had to be signed by the Chairmen of the Senate and House Committees on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje and Hon. Bala Mustapha Dawaki.
“Over 600 pages of #2017Budget have been individually signed by Chairmen, Budget and Appropriation for @NGRSenate & @HouseNGR,” he said.