President Muhammadu Buhari has informed the House of Representatives of his intention to present the 2019 budget proposal before them on Wednesday.
The House of Representatives speaker, Yakubu Dogara, made the announcement on Thursday while reading the President’s letter.
“May I crave the kind indulgence of the House of Representatives to grant me the slot of 11 hours on Wednesday, 19th December, 2018 to formally present the 2019 appropriation bill in a joint session,” the letter read.
Meanwhile, some lawmakers threatened to boycott the budget presentation over the recent comment of Udoma Udoma, minister of budget and national planing.
The minister had said, at the end of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, that the 2019 budget proposal was ready but the National Assembly is yet to fix a date for its presentation.
“As you already know, the budget is ready. We are liaising with the national assembly because they are to give us a date. If they say today, we will go. The budget is ready,” he had said.
Chika Adamu from Niger state had alleged that Udoma told a lie on national television, and called on his colleagues to demand an apology from the minister.
An honorable from Benue, Mark Gbillah, corroborated his claim, saying “it is a statement he (Udoma) made categorically.”
“He lied against this honourable house on national television. I want to join my colleagues to request a formal apology on TV, else we will refuse to attend that budget session with Mr President,” he said.
The House majority leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, however, cautioned his colleagues not to be too rash in judging the minister.
He said: “The minister called me this morning; he was alarmed and upset and shocked. He said he was just reading something in the papers ascribed to him and that he never said such a thing and he is writing a rejoinder as we spoke.”
“So I think we should tarry a while because you are accusing someone of lying. Let us not turn this house into a partisan house.”
Dogara, meanwhile, enjoined on his colleagues to give the minister sometime “to see if he will truly issue a rejoinder.”