Ndume, Buhari, Budget presentation
Senator Ali Ndume

Senator Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South) has urged lawmakers not to boycott the 2019 Budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Some members of the House of Representatives had on Thursday threatened to boycott the budget presentation over reports that the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, blamed the National Assembly for delaying the process.

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President Muhammadu Buhari had on December 6, in an executive communique, announced that he would present the 2019 Budget to the National Assembly on December 12.

However, as at December 13, when the Senate adjourned plenary for the week, no letter to that effect was read at plenary, creating uncertainty around the presentation before the National Assembly adjourns for the year.

Speaking to NAN, Ndume urged his colleagues to reconsider their position in the interest of the nation.

He said: “I understand the reactions of the honourable members, is as a result of the unnecessary comment credited to the Minister of Budget as to who is responsible for the delay.

“My take on this is that two wrongs do not make a right and I want to appeal to my colleagues in the House of Representatives to have a rethink because the President is not responsible for what the minister was alleged to have said.

“I feel national interest should be placed above any individual or group interest.

“As for the Senate, the letter from Mr. President as to when to present the budget has not been read.”

Christmas break

The lawmaker noted that it was imperative for the budget to reach the parliament before the Christmas break to quicken its passage.

“I feel the best thing to do is for the president to present the budget, especially before we go on Christmas break.

“So that copies of the budget will be circulated to members to enable them to start work on it,” he said.