The simmering feud between the presidency of Nigerian and the National Assembly over the 2016 budget has blown open.
It came as a shock when report surfaced that the National Assembly had removed some capital projects including the Lagos to Calabar rail line from the budget and President Muhammadu Buhari refused signing the appropriation bill into law, claiming that the federal lawmakers had doctored it.
According to The Nation newspaper, the Senate has given a final warning to the presidency, advising it to come clean on the budget and stop trying to cover up its errors.
In a statement issued by Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, the chairman, Senate committee on media and public affairs, the Senate maintained that the said Lagos-Calabar rail project was not included in the budget proposal presented to the National Assembly or President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senate said that since the beginning of the 2016 budget process, they have been at the receiving end of all manners of falsehood and outright blackmail, deliberately aimed at poisoning the minds of the people against the institution of the National Assembly, warning the presidency that enough was enough.
“If the presidency expects us to return the budget proposal without any adjustments, then some people must be living in a different era and probably have not come to terms with democracy”, the senate added.
Meanwhile The Punch newspaper reports that the presidency has begun an investigation into the level of complicity of heads of parastatals, who are suspected to have colluded with the National Assembly to doctor the 2016 budget.
A top government official who spoke on condition of anonymity said “Heads may roll because we see it as sabotage.”
The source said that investigations had revealed that many of the federal lawmakers were not involved in the production of the budget details presented to Buhari. The source said it is dangerous for the president to sign the budget in its present state.