The Senate has called on the presidency to stop blaming the National Assembly for the delay in the passage of the 2018 budget.
This came in a statement from the Minority Leader of the Senate Biodun Olujimi on Sunday.
“The President in June this year expressed surprise during a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly when he was confronted with the fact that ministers and heads of federal agencies refused to defend their budget proposals before the legislative committees,” the statement added.
“On that occasion, the President stated that the information (from the lawmakers) was contrary to what he was told by his aides before the meeting started.
“He then ordered the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to compel all heads of MDAs to immediately appear before the respective committees so that the budget could be passed.
“It is a well-known fact that some ministers had in the past appeared before the National Assembly committees and denied certain provisions in their respective budgets.
“In one instance, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, denied the provision made for the purchase of computers in his ministry as stated in the budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly.
“This kind of disconnect between budget proposals and the position of the heads of MDAs made the National Assembly insist on budget defence by heads of MDAs. This has helped to curb the menace of what is known as budget padding.”