Tuesday, January 12, 2016 9:43 pm
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, kept mum on Tuesday as journalists at Nigeria’s seat of power, the Aso Rock presidential villa, wanted to confirm from him reports that the 2016 budget submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari last December had gone missing.
The Senate President who held a closed door meeting that lasted about half an hour with the President refused to disclose the agenda of the meeting or confirm if indeed the hard and soft copies of the budget had gone missing as reports early Tuesday indicated.
The Senate President screamed, “Ha! Ha!! Ha!!!” when asked to comment on the matter as he quickly hopped into his car which his driver drove fast out of the presidential villa.
Reports had indicated that members of the Senate who resumed plenary on Tuesday after the new year break were told at a closed door session that the hard and soft copies of the N6.08 trillion 2016 budget document had gone missing. Senate leader, Ali Ndume, broke the news to furious lawmakers.
Reports indicated that the lawmakers consequently asked the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, to lead a search for the documents and liaise with the presidency, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, and the National Planning Ministry on the matter. It was believed that non availability of the budget was responsible for the inability of the Senate to begin debate on it on Tuesday.
The lawmakers were also said to have agreed to keep the matter secret. It will be recalled that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had last week debunked report that the 2016 budget had been withdrawn by the Presidency.