Nigeria’s minister of budget and national planning, Udoma Udoma, has denied blaming the national assembly for the delay in the presentation of the 2019 budget.
Concise News had reported that some lawmakers on Thursday, threatened to boycott President Muhammadu Buhari’s budget presentation session next week over comments purportedly made by the minister.
Chika Adamu from Niger state had said Udoma told a lie on national television and called on his colleagues to demand an apology from the minister.
Mark Gbillah from Benue state corroborated his claim, saying “it is a statement he (Udoma) made categorically.”
“He lied against this honourable house on national television. I want to join my colleagues to request a formal apology on TV, else we will refuse to attend that budget session with Mr President,” he said.
While some of the lawmakers demanded an apology from Udoma, others asked that the issue should be investigated.
But in a statement issued by Akpandem James, his media aide, Udoma said his comments were misconstrued and that he never blamed the lawmakers for the budget delay.
The statement read: “Going by the headlines in some news media today in respect of the presentation of the 2019 Budget to the National Assembly, it is obvious that some of the reporters misconstrued the response of the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, when he was asked when the budget would be submitted to the Legislature.
“The Minister simply said that as is the procedure when the budget is ready, the Executive liaises with the National Assembly for a date which the Budget will be laid before the joint session of the Assembly; and that the process is on already.
“The Minister at no time throughout the interaction with the media blamed the National Assembly for the delay in the presentation, nor gave the impression that there was any issue between the two arms of government over the 2019 budget.”