Senate Will Strive To Pass Budget Before March Ending – Ndume

Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume, on Sunday said the Senate would strive to pass the 2016 Budget before the end of March.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), he said March was the deadline for the implementation of the 2015 budget, as such it was the desire of the Senate to pass the 2016 budget before that time.

The leader said that contrary to reports in the media, the Senate did not suspend its
passage indefinitely, but only said that the 25th of February `may not be feasible’.
He said it was the wish of the National Assembly to pass the budget five weeks before the expiry of the period set for the implementation of the 2015 budget, but that was not possible due to some errors.

“We have not postponed it indefinitely; we are saying that with the developments that we are seeing as the time goes on, the 25th February deadline we gave ourselves may not be realistic.
“That is why we now said that going by this, it is not possible to say we will come back on 25th and say this is the budget; we are not saying that we have suspended it indefinitely.
The reason we fixed 25th was because we wanted to have a gap of five weeks,” he said.
He said the gap would have enabled the Senate fix whatever issues that needed to be handled before the lapsing of the March 31 deadline for the implementation of the 2015 budget.

Ndume said the leadership of the National Assembly had met with Ministers to iron out the grey areas and make corrections to the contentious areas as well.
The Leader also assured that the Senate would ensure strict compliance with the implementation of the budget.
He said that once funds were available, he was convinced that the present administration would ensure thorough implementation of the budget.