Osinbajo Clashes With Senate, Reps Over 2017 Budget
Both chambers told Osinbajo that the power to appropriate is vested on the legislature as stipulated in the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Osinbajo had during the signing of the 2017 budget on Tuesday said : This last budget, the President presented it last December. Despite the assurances that it will be passed by February, it was not, until May.
“As it turned out, we were quite disappointed that it took a bit of time before it was approved. And thereafter, we had to go into negotiations with the National Assembly in order to get it right.
“Now, there are these two broad issues about who can do what. The first report is about who can do what. When you present a budget to the National Assembly, it is presented as a bill, an appropriation bill.
“Secondly, do not introduce entirely new projects and all of that or modify projects. This is something that we experienced last year and this year again. It now leaves the question about who is supposed to do what?”
While the Senate warned Osinbajo not to mistake its consultations with the executive on important national issues to mean it had ceded its constitutional powers, the House of Representatives says it would never be a rubber stamp to the executive.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, while reacting to a point of order raised by the Deputy Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, at plenary on Thursday, said the senate would continue to defend the constitution.
“I want to say that there are times we have a number of consultations and I want to make it clear that these consultations we do with the executive will not at any time mean that we will give up the powers we have in line with the Constitution.
“I want to reassure our members on this, because it is very important based on what we have heard. You may be concerned that one way or another, leadership had given up some of these powers. That is not the case.