By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- SENATE President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has raised the alarm that Senate Committees on Defence, Army, Airfoce, Navy, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, the Niger Delta and fifteen others were holding the Senate to ransom, following their refusal to submit reports of 2018 budget of their various committees.
Speaking on Thursday during plenary, Senate President named Committees on Culture and Tourism, SDG, Petroleum, both Downstream and Upstream, Power, Industry, Primary Health Care and Communicable Diseases, Health, among others as those that were yet to submit their reports to enable the Senate Committee on Appropriations work on the reports for subsequent passage of the 2018 budget.
The Senate President however gave these twenty Committees to submit their reports on Friday.
It would be recalled that worried over delay in the passage of the N8.612trillion 2018 budget by the National Assembly, Senate President Bukola Saraki, had on Tuesday this week, mandated the Senator Danjuma Goje, APC, Gombe Central led Senate Committee on Appropriations to submit its report next week.
According to Saraki, the appropriations committee should tidy up reports from other sub committees latest by Friday at 6pm this week for submission to the Senate next week.
The Senate President had said, “The Chairman Appropriations should please ensure that by Friday this week, collections of reports from various committees end .
“There should be no more extension for that purpose because the appropriation committee itself , must submit its report to the Senate unfailingly next week.”
Consideration of the 2018 budget estimates by both Chambers of the National Assembly after its presentation on the 7th of November, 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari has been at committee levels since December last year.
Saraki’s directive was sequel to earlier announcement made on the floor of the Senate via a letter by the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Senator Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe Central) extending time for submission of reports by the various committees to Friday.
The two chambers of the National Assembly had before embarking on the Easter break on Thursday , March 29th , 2018 fixed April 24 for passage of the budget.