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2017 budget: Saraki meets Buhari in Aso Rock

President may present budget in 10 days — Saraki

SENATE President Bukola Saraki was at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday, to confer with President Muhammadu Buhari on the 2017 budget.

The budget was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by the president on Wednesday.
The presidency was expected to consult with the leadership of the National Assembly to agree on the most appropriate time for President Buhari to lay the document before the legislature for consideration and approval.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Saraki confirmed that he met with the president was over the budget among other issues.
“I came for consultation with the President on a number of national issues. We are all getting towards the end of the year, getting the budget. Just regular consultation,” he said.
He assured that the Senate was ready to receive the budget and it would be considered in good time because, according to him, much work had been done on it already.

“We are ready. Once the document comes to us, we are ready. I think this time around, a lot work has taken place behind the scene. There is a lot of more collaboration and you will see the result of that in the time frame it will take after the president will have presented it,” stated.

While he revealed that the president could present the budget to the National Assembly within the next 10 days, Saraki said he had no knowledge of the details of the document.
“Well, I haven’t seen the details until the president lays it. I am sure within the next ten days, it will be presented,” he said.
On the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) submitted by the president but was declared “empty” by Senate, Saraki hinted that the issue was being resolved.

According to him, “That is still a work in progress. I am sure that very soon, that matter will be concluded. But I am very optimistic that this year’s budget will be passed much more sooner than what we saw in the past.”

On the walkout staged by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators over the defection of one of their members to the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) on Wednesday, he remarked that there was nothing strange about the senators’ action.
“It is a democracy at work. The opposition party has its views about the defection of a senator to the APC. Normalcy has been restored to the house and we are one family again,” he declared.