Senate Leader Ali Ndume, yesterday, disclosed that the upper legislative chamber will likely pass the N6.08 trillion 2016 budget into law latest February.
Ndume also described a recent call by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that the National Assembly should commence an impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari, on alleged involvement in the budget controversy as ‘a joker’.
Addressing Senate correspondents, Ndume reiterated that Senate would conclude and pass the 2016 budget before end of February, adding that lawmakers had planned to pass the budget on record time, but blamed the delay on recent misgivings about the document.
“We are targeting end of February to round off everything about the 2016 national budget. If not for the talk about a missing budget, we would have gone far. But, we are still determined to pass the budget on time and that will be before the end of February,” he said.
On PDP’s call for the impeachment of Buhari, he asked rhetorically: “Did we kill the PDP for what they did to us in the last 16 years? The call for the impeachment of the president by the PDP is what they are supposed to do. They are in the opposition. Buhari is the kind of leader the country wants.
“His emergence is divine intervention. The game the PDP is playing is understandable. The budget is not missing.”
Last week, the PDP urged the National Assembly to commence an impeachment process against President Buhari over the alleged involvement of his aide, Senator Ita Enang in changing of figures in the 2016 budget earlier submitted to a joint session on December 22.
Speaking on the alleged missing budget, he re-echoed his earlier position that the budget was not missing, rather, the Senate committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions was mandated to carryout an integrity test on the two copies of the budget before the Red Chamber.
“Not only that the budget was not missing, the budget cannot be missing. The budget comes in copies. The copy submitted by Mr. President cannot be missing. There are some issues that came later surrounding the budget.
“We told the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to find out what happened and they discovered that there were two versions. What the president submitted as a bill is still there. Nothing has changed.”