By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA — CONTRARY to its earlier promise to pass the 2016 budget today, the Senate, yesterday, gave next Tuesday as the day the document would be passed.
The Red Chamber, which had also earlier assured that its Committee on Appropriation would lay the various reports of committees collated before it during yesterday’s plenary, could not adhere to the promise.
Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, told newsmen that the budget would be formally laid before Senate during today’s plenary, adding that the 2016 fiscal document would be deliberated and passed next Tuesday.
He added that after passage, the National Assembly would subsequently transmit the budget to President Muhammadu Buhari before proceeding on Easter break for onward presidential assent.
Ndume did not, however, disclose the day the two chambers of the legislature would begin the Easter break.
Vanguard gathered that the two chambers have agreed on next Tuesday as day to proceed on the break.
Also speaking to newsmen on the issue, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity Affairs, Abdullahi Sabi, assured that the budget would be laid today, even as he evaded question on when it will be passed.
He said: “I want to assure Nigerians that the 2016 budget will be laid in the Senate chamber as promised by the Chairman of Appropriation Committee.
“We are not unmindful of the date set for the passage, but we want to give Nigerians a budget that is acceptable, implementable, and that will actually drive the key policies of this government with respect to the change agenda.
“All is almost set for the laying of the 2016 budget tomorrow (today) in the Senate. As we had promised Nigerians and with that, one or two processes that are required will take place and we will have our budget as promised.
“This has put to rest any suspicion of what is happening. I am here to inform you that tomorrow (today), God sparing our lives, the 2016 budget would be laid by the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee.”