The 2016 budget proposal presented by President Muhammadu Buhari before a joint session of the National Assembly on December 22, 2015 can be adjusted so long as it has not been passed into law, members of the House of Representatives and Senate have said.
President Buhari had on December 22 presented a budget proposal of N6.08 trillion to the joint session of the National Assembly.
There were speculations that the executive had withdrawn the document following the discovery of some errors in it.
When contacted to confirm the speculations, the Senate leader, Ali Ndume, said the 2016 budget was still with the National Assembly.
He noted that the budget could be adjusted during defence by ministries, departments and agencies.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Works, Kabiru Gaya, said the adjustment can be done at any time.
“The adjustment can also be done even while we are still discussing the budget. Once the main figure did not change it is possible to make the adjustment. Both chambers of the National Assembly will, for instance, tinker with the figures especially as it affects overheads”, he said.
He, however, added that “if we are cutting 30 percent from the National Assembly budget, then it has to be done pro rata”.
“We must cut across 30 percent across the agencies, the ministries, and all other government parastatals. There are duplication of figures like purchase of computers. When all the duplications are discovered, it is necessary to take actions”, he said.
The spokesperson of the House of Reps, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, also denied knowledge of the withdrawal of the 2016 budget proposal by the Presidency.
However, Namdas said that as far as they were concerned, the Presidency could decide to adjust the budget at any time, as long as it is not passed into law.
He said as a House, they would not have any problem if the Presidency decides to adjust the budget if it discovers any mistake that needs to be addressed.