THE leadership of the House of Representatives has urged the citizenry not to expect the final budget in less than three months.
Chairman, House Committee on Media, Abdulrazak Namdas, who gave this indication in a chat with The Nation yesterday, hinted that the budget may not get to the President at the time he envisaged.
He added that the National Assembly must consider the fine points of the bill and make necessary adjustments that reflect the realities of the constituencies and the nation in general.
According to him, the Green Chamber cannot return the document as it was presented.
His words: “When the president presented his speech on the budget presentation day, he expressed the wish that the budget is approved by January 1st.
“We are saying that we will work faster, since the 2018 Appropriation Bill was brought a little bit earlier, we should also be able to approve the budget a little earlier.
“But I cannot be specific about a date, since we are few weeks to the end of December. This is about 20 siting days. So, if I sit here in the comfort of my office to assure Nigerians that the budget will be passed by 1st of January, you and even them will know it’s not feasible.
“For the budget process, you should be looking at a minimum of three months. We will deliberate on the basic principles of the budget, it will be committed to committees to work on it, meet with MDAs and they now send their report to the Appropriation Committee. All of these processes take time.
“I think people should be more concerned about the National Assembly and the executive coming up with an implementable budget, rather than focusing on a January date.”
Namdas added that the house has put checks in place to forestall incidences of padding in the 2018 budget.
The measure put in place by the Green Chamber, he said, was to ensure that the type of controversies witnessed in the past does not recur.