2019 budget: Reps carpets Udoma, demand apology over delay claim

House of Representatives members have condemned Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, for blaming the delay in the presentation of the 2019 budget to the legislature on the National Assembly.

Udoma had after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, said the budget was ready but the lawmakers had yet to fix a date for the laying.

Shortly after the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, read a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari, notifying the legislature of his intention to lay the budget next week, several members criticised the minister for the allegation.

Dogara informed the lawmakers that Buhari’s letter was only delivered on Thursday morning and it was read on the floor shortly after.

Dogara recalled that FEC only approved the budget last Friday while the Presidency had yet to transmit a letter to the legislature on the presentation date, as of the time Udoma accused the lawmakers of delaying the process.

The Speaker ruled that the lawmakers should give the minister, being a former member of the National Assembly, the grace to‎ willingly retract the statement and apologise to the legislature, failure of which the lawmakers would officially demand them from him.

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