By Nuel Suji – The Senate on Wednesday passed the 2016 Federal budget after months of confusion and delays, even as Senate President Bukola Saraki urged for implementation of the budget.
The N6.08trillion budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Joint Session of the National Assembly was marred by controversy shortly it was laid after it disappeared in a curious circumstance.
Mr. Buhari and his Special Adviser for National Assembly Matters (Senate) Ita Enang were accused of being responsible for the missing budget from the Senate following the discovery of embarrassing appropriations.
There were also allegations of budget paddling by the departmental heads leading to the sack of several of them by the President.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki while announcing the final passage of the budget Wednesday tasked the various standing committees of the National Assembly to ensure full implementation of the 2016 budget through effective use of their oversight duties.
Giving his remark during the plenary after the passage of the 2016 Appropriation Bill by the Senate in Abuja, the Senate President also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure an effective implementation of the budget, while also calling on the President to ensure an early presentation of the next year appropriation bill to the National Assembly.
He also pledged that the Senate would immediately commence the amendment of the Public Procurement Bill currently before the National Assembly as a way of aiding the effective implementation of the budget.
A statement by the Special Assistant to the Senate President on Print Media, Chuks Okocha, quoted the Senate President as saying that, “The budget reflects efficient and equitable allocation of resources to reduce the challenges that we are all aware of. This budget is a product of bipartisan engagement, commitment and patriotism.
“It gives me great joy to commend and appreciate all the efforts that all of you, my colleagues, have put in. It is the duty of the Executive arm to ensure full implementation of this budget as part of the campaign to bring succuor to our people. While implementing it, we charge the Executive to also consider the need to support locally produced goods in order to help our economy.