It’s duty of n’assembly to increase budget figures for good of Nigerians —Gbajabiamila

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Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives, says it is the duty of the national assembly to adjust budget figures for the good of Nigerians.

 

Last week, the national assembly approved N21.83 trillion as the budget for the 2023 fiscal year.

 

The lawmakers increased the budget size by N1.33 trillion after it was initially put at N20.5 trillion by President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

Speaking with reporters after the signing ceremony of the 2023 appropriation bill on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila said if the budget was returned the way it was submitted, the lawmakers would be called “rubber stamp”, but if they adjust the figures, they would be accused of “padding” the budget.

 

The number four citizen said the national assembly has done well in meeting its constitutional mandate.

 

“You have used the language jerk up about three or four times in one sentence. I’m not quite sure what that means. If you understand constitutional democracy, there are different layers of government. And it’s called separation of powers,” he said.

 

“It now behoves the national assembly, where it dims to adjust figures, either downwards or upwards. And that’s exactly what we have done.

 

 “You see, the problem with the national assembly is that you can’t win or lose. If you return the budget the exact way it is, you’re called a rubber stamp. If you do what you’re supposed to do and adjust figures for the good of the country. You call it jerking up or inflation or padding.

 

“So I think the national assembly has done very well in meeting its constitutional mandate. It takes all arms of government to be on board to give a true working document for the country.

 

“The executive did everything they could and we have even a wider view, a bird’s eye view of what’s going on in all the agencies — and we have also complemented what the executive has done.

 

“It’s all for the good of the country and that is what we have done.”

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