• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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Budget defence commences in Senate February 2

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saraki_bukola_2As budget defence in the Senate commences on February 2, Senate president, Bukola Saraki has vowed to deal with any senator involved in bribery and corruption in the course of the exercise.

Saraki, who made this known shortly after the 2016 Appropriation Bill passed second reading, warned that any lawmaker caught receiving monetary inducement from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) during the budget defence would be adequately dealt with.

Recall that a former Senate president, Adolphus Wabara was forced to resign after series of allegations of bribery and corruption in the 2005 budget, but he was, however, acquitted by an Appeal Court.

Saraki said the warning became necessary to sustain the integrity of the National Assembly and continue to win the confidence of Nigerians.

Speaking on the general principles of the N6.08 trillion budget proposal, the Senate president noted that the proposal was a departure from past budgets in the area of dependent on oil, assuring that the Senate might review the $38 per barrel the budget was predicated on.

His words: “About the percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), we are still the within the limits and parameters, but what is important is to ensure that the money is judiciously used for what it is meant for.

“It is important that the issue of blocking leakages is key and from the experience of the past we must learn from the past to work towards the future.

“Key areas for the committees on Finance and Petroleum are the budget estimate. It is very key that we get this right because if we don’t get it right, the likelihood of us achieving what we have planned will not work.

“The committees should scrutinise these estimates and ensure that they are estimates that we can all put our names to.”

Also speaking with journalists, chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, said the Senate would adjourn on Thursday to allow for budget defence.

He said after Thursday’s plenary, the Senate would break into sub-committees from February 2 to receive the MDAs for budget defence, adding that all MDAs and sub-committees would conclude their budget consideration by February 16.