'I Never Blamed National Assembly For Budget Delay' - Udoma
Senator Udoma Udo Udoma who is President Muhammadu Buhari’s minister of budget and national planning, was quoted as saying on Wednesday that the bulk now stops with the national assembly for not fixing a date for 2019 budget presentation.
But it appears that the reporters who heard him say it suffered otitis media and simply misquoted the minister or so he claims.
But you don’t blame him for denying it.
At plenary on Thursday, he had come under serious fire even as some lawmakers threatened to boycott President Muhammadu Buhari’s budget presentation session next week over the comments.
Chika Adamu from Niger state had alleged that Udoma “told a lie on national television” by saying the executive was waiting for the lawmakers to give them a date when the budget will be presented.
While some of the lawmakers demanded an apology from Udoma, others asked that the issue be investigated.
But in a statement issued by Akpandem James, Udoma’s media aide, the minister said his comments were misconstrued and that he never blamed the lawmakers.
This is what the statement said: “Going by the headlines in some news media today in respect of the presentation of the 2019 Budget to the National Assembly, it is obvious that some of the reporters misconstrued the response of the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, when he was asked when the budget would be submitted to the Legislature.
“The Minister simply said that as is the procedure when the budget is ready, the Executive liaises with the National Assembly for a date which the Budget will be laid before the joint session of the Assembly; and that the process is on already.
“The Minister at no time throughout the interaction with the media blamed the National Assembly for the delay in the presentation, nor gave the impression that there was any issue between the two arms of government over the 2019 budget.”
So, there you have it. Case settled.
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