Budget delay negatively affecting economy – Kwara Speaker

The Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, on Friday said that the non-signing of the 2016 budget has negatively affected the country’s “already ailing” economy.

Stating that the delay was unfavourable to Nigerians, Ahmad urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the 2016 Appropriation Act so as to reduce the sufferings of Nigerians.

Ahmad spoke in Ilorin, Kwara State, on the sidelines of the plenary of the House.

He stated that if there were gray areas, the President was expected to sign the budget and make a supplementary one to the National Assembly, according to the constitution.

Ahmad said, “We encourage Mr. President to support the aspirations of our people. We know the President has a lot of love for our people and we have to support him. He has not said anything; even the Federal Executive Council was not chaired by him. All we are hearing is from one minister or the other.

“We want to believe that Mr. President, who has the love of Nigeria at heart, will sign this budget immediately. The ministers have contrived reasons why the budget has not been signed that some budget was removed and that on some projects, costs were reduced.”

He added, “These things are not new. This is a budget. Section 81 sub-section 4 has covered it — it states that where a budget is prepared and some projects of the executives are removed or some costs are reduced, the President can sign it and bring a supplementary appropriation. That is it.

“So even with these contrived reasons, it is covered. So why the delay on something that the constitution has covered? Now, those reasons were not in the budget, but even if they were there and the National Assembly removed them, Section 81 says it should be signed and an appropriation presented so that the suffering of the people will be limited. We call loudly on Mr. President, please sign this budget.”

Kwara State House of Assembly's photo.