Reps Demand Apology From Minister Over ‘Comments’ About 2019 Budget
Udoma denies blaming lawmakers for delayed budget presentation…
The House of Representatives has raised concerns over comments allegedly credited to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma.
The matter came up during plenary on Thursday as a matter of privilege sponsored by Chika Adamu, seeking an apology from the minister and a retraction of the purported statement.
Senator Udoma was said to have accused the National Assembly of frustrating the presentation of the 2019 Appropriation Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The majority leader of the House, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, informed his colleagues that the minister claimed to have been quoted out of context.
But the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara ruled that the minister be given time to retract or clarify the statement.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning issued a statement in which it faulted the reports that the Senator Udoma blamed the lawmakers for the delay in the presentation of the budget.
Contrary to the reports, the minister’s media adviser, Akpandem James, explained that there was no time that Udoma gave an impression of any dispute between the lawmakers and the executive.
He stated that the minister stressed during a media chat that the executive would follow due process in the presentation of the budget.
Read the statement from the ministry below;
RE-FG blames NASS over delay in presentation of 2019 Budget
Going by the headlines in some news media today in respect of the presentation of the 2019 Budget to the National Assembly, it is obvious that some of the reporters misconstrued the response of the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, when he was asked when the budget would be submitted to the Legislature.
The Minister simply said that as is the procedure when the budget is ready, the Executive liaises with the National Assembly for a date which the Budget will be laid before the joint session of the Assembly; and that the process is on already.
The Minister at no time throughout the interaction with the media blamed the National Assembly for the delay in the presentation, nor gave the impression that there was any issue between the two arms of government over the 2019 budget.
Special Adviser (Media and Communication) to the Hon Minister