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“Osinbajo’s Budget Remark Faulty” – Saraki, Dogara

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday drew the ire of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara over his comments on the National Assembly’s increase of the budget from N7.28 trillion to N7.44 trillion.

At plenary in both chambers, Saraki and Dogara said the lawmakers did not overreach themselves by jacking up the budget.

The Senate would not surrender its constitutional powers to the executive, Saraki said, in reaction to an issue raised by Deputy Senate Leader Bala Ibn Na’Allah.

The House of Representatives, Dogara noted, would not be a rubberstamp. He was reacting to an order on the breach of privilege brought by Abubakar Lawal (Adamawa).

The Presidency will seek the Supreme Court’s interpretation on the issue, it was learnt last night.

A source told our correspondent that the Acting President would not take up issues with the lawmakers, but “will soon head for the apex court to seek the interpretation of that section of the Constitution to clear any ambiguity therein.”

The source said: “We cannot be going forward and backward on the same issue every year.”

Signing the budget on Monday, Osinbajo said there were two broad issues about who could do what.

“The first report is about who can do what. When you present a budget to the National Assembly,

it is presented as a bill, an appropriation bill. And secondly, do not introduce entirely new projects and all of that or modify projects. This is something that we experienced last year and this year again. It now leaves the question about who is supposed to do what,” he said.

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