Reps Turn Down Presidency’s Request, Insist On Two-month Recess

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The House of Representatives has said it will not suspend its plenary to consider President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a N228 billion supplementary budget, asking the legislature to re-allocate part of the N578 billion voted to the projects inserted by the lawmakers into the 2018 Appropriation Act. Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, had warned that delaying the approvals would frustrate some organs of the government. “The executive – President and ministers – will keep working with the legislature with respect due their offices and persons, and keep working with them as legislators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who make laws for the executive to execute irrespective of their individual political decisions while leaving all options open for conciliation. “We will be praying the legislature – the leadership and membership – to consider that there are many matters of very urgent nature which are pending before the legislature and unless (they are) considered, the functioning of certain institutions of the government will be hampered. “If you recall, a lot of the funding for the 2018 budget was budgeted to come from some external sources. The request for approval to raise funds from these external sources is before the legislature and unless (it is) considered, it may hamper the level of implementation. Again, before the legislature proceeded on vacation, Mr President also laid before them the request for virement, this also will be affected,” he said. Abdulrazak Namdas, the spokesman for the House, said the presidential aide should have known the National Assembly goes on annual recess between July and September. Namdas however assured Enang that none of the President’s requests would suffer any setback. “As soon as we return in September, the President’s requests will receive immediate attention. They will be the top priorities of the House. So, there is really nothing to worry about,” he added.
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