Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy Senate President, says the executive arm of government was responsible for the late passage of the country’s budgets, lamenting that President Muhammadu Buhari always present the budget before the joint sittings towards the end of December.
Speaking during Wednesday’s plenary, the Enugu West lawmaker said, “the executive is always responsible for budget delay. Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution as amended provided the budget circle from January to December of every year.
“In laying the annual budget before us late December as he has been doing makes it difficult for us to meet up with January to December requirements.”
“The Executive usually presents the Budget late in the year, giving the National Assembly little time to deliberate on the budget, thereby leaving very little time for implementation,” he lamented.
The Deputy Senate President further pointed out that late passage of the budget was affecting agriculture in Nigeria as farmers could not access funds for commercial farming.
Regretting that the Senate is often left with limited time to deliberate on issues of national importance captured in the budget, he said, “It is important that we discipline ourselves and correct this in the future.”