Former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, APC-Borno South, on Wednesday accused the current leadership of National Assembly mostly being led by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP lawmakers for deliberately slowing down actions on the 2019 budget proposals.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last December presented N8.83trillion budget to the joint sessions of the Senate and House of Representatives, and appealed for early commencement of debate on general principles of the estimates.
Speaking with journalists after plenary, Senator Ndume, said as far as federal lawmakers belonging to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, are concerned, the budget can be attended to within a week and passed but alleged that the leadership of NASS headed by lawmakers on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, seems not to be interested in the consideration of the budget proposals for now.
“Though federal lawmakers on the platform of APC are more in number than their counterparts in PDP, but since it is the PDP lawmakers controlling the leadership of both chambers, the speed at which any executive bill, particularly the 2019 Appropriation Bill before us now will take, lies with them.
“Those of us in the APC at both chambers have the passion and the will to effect expeditious consideration and passage of the 2019 budget proposals but the required speed for that lies with the leadership, topmost of whom are PDP members”, he said.
When reminded that the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, APC-Yobe North, who supposed to move for commencement of debate on general principles of the budget or his deputy, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, APC-Kebbi South were not around on Tuesday and yesterday, he said the required move and the speed for such legislative exercise lie with the two presiding officers and principal officers.
He, however, commended the House of Representatives for kick-starting debate on general principles of the budget yesterday which according to him, will propel such legislative business in the senate very soon.
Senator Ndume added that the required expeditious consideration that should be given the 2019 Appropriation Bill should be extended to the expected minimum wage bill.
According to him, Nigerian workers deserve living and not just minimum wage , a view he feels many of the other lawmakers share.
On popularity ratings between President Muhammadu Buhari and his closest rival in the coming general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, the former Senate Leader declared that in the North East where Atiku comes from, Buhari will win 95 per cent of whatever votes cast during the presidential election.
“The difference is clear between the two of them as far as popularity and acceptability are concerned going by crowds attending their rallies.
“Buhari has already won the election going by the mammoth crowds being pulled by him even in North East more than Atiku.
“Besides to us in the North East, PDP is poisonous which cannot be embraced in anyway by the teeming populace”, he said.
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