By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate, explained yesterday, that the need for authentication of the passed 2017 Appropriation Bill was the rationale behind the delay in the transmission of the document to the executive arm of government for assent.
The defence on the delay is coming five days after the National Assembly passed the Appropriation Bill of N7,441,175,486,758, which represents an increase of N143 billion from what was presented last December by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Meanwhile, the Senate disclosed, yesterday, that the document will be transmitted any moment from now, to the Presidency.
Addressing newsmen, yesterday on the delay in the transmission, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger North), explained that the passage of the budget document does not automatically mean that the document would be transmitted immediately, adding that the Joint Committees on Appropriations still must carry out its assignment, which they are concluding.
Senator Abdullahi said, “After the budget is passed, the Appropriation Committee has to do some authentication, to avoid just any document flying around. Any moment from now, it will be transmitted to the Presidency. Let us allow those who have been given certain responsibilities to do their job, which must include certain protocols.
“Remember that we had to adjourn and reconvene to approve the votes and proceedings to allow them continue the process. If not, they will not be able to do anything on the document. If we had waited till today (yesterday) to approve the votes and proceedings, it means they will have to start today,” the spokesman added.
It will be recalled that the passed N7,441,175,486,758 Appropriation Bill by the National Assembly last week Thursday, is projected on a daily crude oil production of 2.2 million barrels, a benchmark price of crude oil of $ 44.50 as against the proposed rate of $42.50 and exchange rate of N305 to $1, just as both the exchange rate and that of crude oil production as proposed by the executive was retained.