Hon. Mike Omogbehin, the lawmaker representing Irele/Okitipupa federal constituency of Ondo State at the National Assembly said the delay in the passage of the 2018 budget should be put at the doorsteps of President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his cabinet.
The House of Representatives member said the executive arm of the government has not been cooperating with the members of the National Assembly for the quick passage of the budget.
The Federal lawmaker spoke during a public function in Akure, the Ondo State capital also said President Buhari’s withdrawal of funds from the national Treasury without approval of the National Assembly constituted an impeachable offense and and undermining of the powers of the National Assembly by the executive.
“We have the 2018 budget which is under discussion and his ministers are not responding to questions.
“They are invading discussion and they expected that the parliaments will just rubber stamp their request as put before us.
“When you invite the ministers, they delay in coming, when you invite the chairman of parastatals they don’t appear, when they come they don’t give you the necessary response and that is what is require to pass the budget.
“So, it’s not our fault, you must give account of how you spent the previous money and the ones allocated to you before you can ask for approval.
“You must also convinced us how you intend to spend the money that you are asking for appropriation that is just the reason why the budget is being delay” he said.
Hon. Omogbehin disclosed that the 2018 budget was still pending at the committee levels of the National Assembly.
The lawmaker said that President Buhari was running his government with impunity hence the reasons why his cabinet members doesn’t abide by the law.
“We are there at the committee level everytime discussing, but this people (executive arm) are not showing up.
“While we are still working on the 2018 budget, the President went ahead to incur an expenditure that is not originally containing in the budget that is pending.
“In that case, expenditure as been containing what we would have say it was pending in anticipatory of approval but it was not part of the element in the budget that was been considered at all.
“And besides that, this request has been on ground since last year and one would have expected that the President would have included this in the 2018 budget.
“Or when the budget must have been passed and it would have become a supplementary budget or how do you described it the budget of procedure and process of Nigeria.
“It is nothing but impunity on the part of Mr. President to undermine the rights of the national assembly”.
Hon. Omogbehin also condemned the recent invasion of the National Assembly noting that it was an affront on democracy.
He maintained that the federal lawmakers would always resist every attempt to arm twist or humiliate the second arm of the government.
Hon. Omogbehin said that the lawmakers would continue to serve as a watchdog to the executive arm of the federal government.
“The executive arm of government failed in their duty and responsibilities to safeguard the lives of the parliamentarians.
“This is the way they have failed to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians.
“As I am talking to you now, lives are being lost everyday in Zamfara, Yobe, Benue states”, he added.
SOURCE :sahara reporters (news)