Senator Joy Emodi
Differences between the executive and legislative arms of government over the 2013 budget are being resolved, especially disagreements between the two arms on the finer details of the Appropriation Bill, which will soon be sent to President Goodluck Jonathan for assent.
Making this known yesterday in Abuja, the Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, told State House correspondents after a meeting with the president that the differences notwithstanding the implementation of the 2013 budget would not be jeopardised in anyway.
She said both arms of government were working together like never before to ensure that there is no stagnation in the smooth running of government.
On the issues of non-inclusion of a budgetary allocation for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the 2013 budget and the discrepancy over the crude oil budget benchmark, Emodi, who acknowledged all of these, insisted that a way was being fashioned out to resolve the differences.
THISDAY had exclusively reported yesterday that the National Assembly had been working to forward the details of the 2013 Appropriation Bill to the presidency by the middle of this month, a process that might lead to the signing of the budget by the end of January.
Confirming the story, Emodi said what was holding the budget were the details that needed to be sorted out first before the president assents to the bill.
“You know, details of the budget are usually very bulky. We need to get the details and once the details are sent to Mr. President, he will have to study it first as nobody will just expect him to sign without reviewing it,” she explained.
Noting that the quick passage of the 2013 budget was a sign that there was hope on the horizon regarding the future working relationship between the legislature and executive, she said: “This harmonious relationship between the executive and legislature will be sustained in 2013.”
Emodi added: “Even husbands and wives do have disagreements. There is no way that you cannot expect the two arms of government not to disagree, but the most important thing is how they deal with the issues at the end of the day.
“And you can see that in most of the issues, even after the disagreements, they always resort to dialogue and agree on a position that will be acceptable to all in the interest of the nation.”
On complaints by the legislature over the president’s refusal to assent to bills and implement resolutions passed by them, Emodi insisted there were no problems between the executive and legislature.
“They are all working for the people of Nigeria. So let us forget about the hype. There must be issues, but the most important thing is that they are working for the common interest of Nigerians.
“On the resolutions, yes, there might be issues but at the end of the day, those issues were also resolved or are in the process of being resolved,” she said.