By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate, yesterday, said the executive arm of government was entitled to its opinion for describing allegations by the National Assembly that the 2018 Appropriation Bill had been padded as spurious and mischievous.
Speaking with Vanguard, yesterday, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, who noted that the National Assembly will ensure prudence, transparency in its consideration of the 2018 budget, observed that the budget consideration was still in process.
According to him, “irrespective of what the presidency may be saying about the budget, the Senate will ensure that it adheres strictly to the constitution and in line with rule of law to ensure that at the end of the day , if the budget is passed, it would be in the interest of Nigerians.”
Senator Abdullahi who noted that the National Assembly did not invent the concept of padding, said as an institution, it works with proposals and estimates presented before it by the executive arm of government.
He said: “The executive is entitled to its opinion, we will do what is in line with the constitution and rule of law and ensure that at the end of the day, the National Assembly passes a balanced budget on the overall interest of Nigerians.
“At the National Assembly, we do not have anything called padding. The executive came up with proposals and estimates that we are working with, we will look at the budget and ensure that all is taken care of in line with the constitution. We are working with the documents provided by the presidency, the budget proposals did not come from the National Assembly.”