House of Representatives hails president’s 2016 appropriation bill

President Muhammadu Buhari taking a bow before the joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja …yesterday 		                PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

President Muhammadu Buhari taking a bow before the joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja …yesterday PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA<br />

THE House of Representatives has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to personally present the 2016 budget estimates, saying the Parliament, which suspended its earlier scheduled recess to receive the estimates, would immediately commence work on the Appropriation Bill.

Giving a vote of thanks after the formal presentation of the inaugural budget proposal by the APC-led administration yesterday, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, recalled with dismay where, according to him, it was fast becoming a norm that the President seats in the Villa and submits the budget estimates to the parliament by post, thereby shunning the opportunity which normally presents the President to interact with the Legislature and also talk directly to Nigerians about the budget.

Dogara said President Buhari’s gesture was a clear demonstration of the APC administration’s capacity, which has put a lie to the widespread apprehension that the 2016 budget was going to be negatively impacted by the seeming delay in the constitution of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

He particularly commended government’s anti-corruption war, which, according to him, is largely the reason why the country can afford the size of budget proposal.

Meanwhile, Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, has expressed optimism that the 2016 budget presented to the National Assembly yesterday by President Buhari has ignited the hope of early economic revival of the country.

He said with the decision of the President to take the country back to the pre-Independence days, Nigeria would once again find direction in the management of its economy.

Speaking with State House correspondents shortly after the presentation of the 2016 Appropriation Bill to the joint sitting of the National Assembly by the President, Al-Makura said his state would key into the President’s economic vision to tap from its proximity to the federal capital as the seat of power.

The Speaker, who noted that the war against corruption is not a tea party, however decried recent orchestrations in certain sections of the media in the country, allegedly to subtly discourage prosecution of the anti-corruption war.

He lamented that these tend to “focus on the methodology of the war and other sectional, partisan or even primordial considerations rather than the devastating impact of corruption on the society.”

Though he admitted that he had yet to read the nitty-gritty of the budget regarding the allocations, Al-Makura, however, said: “But from the presentation, you can see that there is direction in this country and there is hope.

“When people are crying about dwindling situation and lack of resources in the country, you find that the budget has gone far beyond the expectation of a lot of people. This is an indication that we have a purposeful government, we have a responsible government, a government that will ensure that it plugs all the holes of creating economic problem in the country.”

Asked if the 2016 budget was implementable, he said: “God willing, we will implement this budget because you have to be optimistic. All the potentials are there for effective utilisation of resources. But what has been the problem in the past was misapplication and outright maladministration with regard to resources accruing to the country.”

“For us in Nasarawa State, we have two, three getaways to ensure effective revenue generation. One is the solid mineral.

We are not just going to do the business as usual of just getting investors to come and prospect, we will also participate fully in prospecting and exploitation of these minerals and give a lot of incentives so that we can have a lot of investors who will come and partake.

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