Nigerian House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara Tuesday revealed the cause of the delay in enacting the country’s budget during the last four years of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The speaker in a statement released by his spokesperson, Turaki Hassan, he said the “chief” cause of delay was the “persistent refusal or neglect of the Executive to present it in good time.”
The speaker said there were “no urgency or plan by the Executive to achieve a January to December budget cycle.”
Tinubu in a statement on Sunday accused Nigeria’s Senate President Saraki and Dogara of deliberately delaying the passage of budgets and distorted the annual spending plan with the aim of profiting off the distortions.
“Just look at the way Saraki, Dogara and their ilk hijacked the budget process these past four years. National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them,” a statement released by Tinubu’s media office said on Sunday evening.
Saraki, however, said, “to put the blame of budget delay on the Senate President or Speaker can only be a “mischief”
The Senate president noted that the responsibilities of the passage of budget were “not the exclusive responsibility of the leadership of the Senate.”
“Most of the work is done in the various committees,” he added.
Saraki said the delay “is traceable to the refusal of heads of MDAs to defend the budget proposals for their agencies on time.”
Dogara, while blaming late submission of budget documents to the National Assembly for the delay, noted that 2016 to 2019 were submitted few days before the beginning of the year.
“2017 Budget submitted on December 14, 2016, just 17 days to the end of the year.”
“2018 Budget was presented on November 7, 2017, the earliest even though it also fell short of the 90 days stipulated by the Fiscal Responsibility Act.”
“2019 budget was presented on December 19, 2018, exactly 12 days to the end of the year,” he added.