Reps Accuses Amaechi of Attempting to Pad 2016 Budget
LAGOS APRIL 11TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The controversy surrounding the 2016 budget on Monday worsened with the House of Representatives accusing Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi of attempting to pad the budget.
Speaking with reporters at a briefing in Abuja, the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdaz said majority of the stories in the media are mere propaganda and meant to cause disaffection between the House and a section of the country.
Namdaz specifically singled out the Lagos- Calabar rail project which he said the president never included in the budget.
According to him, the item was brought for inclusion in the budget by Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, but was not included in the budget because only the President is allowed to present the budget before the National Assembly. This, he said was an attempt at padding the budget.
He said: “The media is awash with story that the National Assembly has removed the Calabar- Lagos railway project from the budget. I want to make it very clear that we don’t have that in the presentation made by the president to the National Assembly so we couldn’t have removed what was not even inserted in the first place.
“it was the Minister of Transport that brought the Calabar- Lagos railway to be included in the budget, we want to state clearly that the budget is something that is proposed by the President, we do not receive budget from ministers.
“So, for somebody to say we actually removed the Calabar- Lagos railway project from the budget, I think someone is trying to spoil our good image.
” We want to state again that all that was sent to the National Assembly from the supplementary budget and others had a smooth sail, and it is on record that some people lost their job because of this budget, the executive has agreed that some people tempered with the budget.
“In the interest of this country, if the President discovered somethings that he want to be included he should sent the budget back and we will take a look at it but right now, there is no official notice to the National Assembly that the president will not sign the budget”, he said.