The Presidency on Sunday night, said the concerns raised by President Muhammadu Buhari that roughly 6,576 new projects were inserted in the Appropriation Bill signed into law on Friday did not in any way suggest that there was crisis between the executive and the legislature.
POLITICS NIGERIA recalls that Buhari had on Friday said the cuts in the provisions for several projects by the National Assembly might render the projects unimplementable or set back their completion, especially some of this administration’s strategic capital projects.
But the Presidency in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu debunked report that President Buhari was angry with the National Assembly.
He said: “The Presidency wishes to clear the air regarding the widely-viewed/reported episode on December 31, 2021, at the State House during the signing of the 2022 Budget and Finance Bill by President Buhari; specifically on the insertion in the 2022 Appropriation Act, of 6,576 new schemes worth about N37 billion by the National Assembly.
“While it is true that the President expressed disagreement with these and many of the other alterations, including the “reduction in the provisions for many strategic capital projects to introduce ‘Empowerment Projects’,” innumerable lies are being spread about the President being “angry” at, had “blasted” or “lashed out” at the Parliament. This cannot be farther from the truth.
“As the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, said shortly after the budget-signing ceremony, disagreements as the ones listed by the President are normal in the everyday Executive-Parliamentary relationship because, as he explained, “executive and legislative judgments don’t always have to be the same.
“While we note that there are people who are trying to create a fiasco between the two arms of government on account of the budget, we assure that they will, in the end, be disappointed. The Executive and the 9th National Assembly have since moved away from the wild, destructive political games of the past, conducting themselves in a way that puts national interest supreme in their decisions.
“We doubt if there is a patriotic citizen who wants to see the return of the operating environment engendered by the 8th Senate, when an elected government was held in chains, held hostage to the desperate political ambitions of a clique, and the public denied needed services, including that which impinged on national security. Happily, the 9th National Assembly is more about policy than politics.
“Under the constitution, both arms of government are coequal and at the same time, independent and interdependent. The rule of the game is cooperation and the President, as a democrat fully accepts this.”