Femi Ogbonnikan In Abeokuta
Senator Solomon Adeola representing Lagos West has exonerated the National Assembly of any blame over the delay in the passage of the 2018 Appropriation Bill.
Fielding questions from journalists at his Ilaro home in Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, recently he laid the blame over the delay in the passage of the budget on the doorsteps of the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
According to him, “We are not far behind in the passage of the 2018 Appropriation Bill. But let me make some clarifications here on the issue of the budget delay. You can see we were working round the clock to ensure that by last December 21 we were able to make headway, if possible for the first time, in the history of our country we could pass the budget in record time.
“But as it is now, the documentations- facts and figures that we need to scrutinise all the items of the transactions-both in the recurrent and capital expenditure, as contained in that documents, have not been given to us by these MDAs. The attitude of these various MDAs is nothing to write home about, because it is when they are prepared to defend these documentations that those figures, as contained in that documents, that we will be looking at the record to pass this budget.
“But since we don’t have these documentations and the figures to work with, it will be difficult for us at the National Assembly to do anything. However, the government has submitted its proposals and policies in numerical terms, called budget.”
However, the senator noted that the option left out to look at in the 2018 Appropriation bill is to critically analyse the over N7 trillion budget as proposed by the president, whether it will be achievable or not, stressing that, that can only come to realisation when right documentations are submitted to the National Assembly.
“If we are going to pass the 2018 budget in a record term, there is need for us to know the 2017 budget performance. So, we need all documentation to back everything up,” he stated.