President Muhammadu Buhari is set to present the 2019 budget proposal before the two houses of the National Assembly on Wednesday.
The president announced this in a letter sent to the National Assembly and read on the floor of the House on Thursday by the speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
“May I crave the kind indulgence of the House of Representatives to grant me the slot of 11 hours on Wednesday, 19th December 2018 to formally present the 2019 appropriation bill in a joint session and lay before the NASS the 2019 budget proposal,” the president said.
After reading the letter, some lawmakers threatened to boycott the budget presentation over the recent comment of the minister of budget and national planning Udoma Udoma on the National Assembly.
After the federal executive council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, Udoma Udoma had said the 2019 budget proposal was ready but the national assembly is yet to fix a date for its presentation.
Rep.Chika Adamu from Niger state had accused Udoma of lying on national television, and called on his colleagues to demand an apology from the minister.
Mark Gbillah from Benue state corroborated his claim, saying “it is a statement he (Udoma) made categorically.”
However, majority leader of the house, Femi Gbajabiamila, accused his colleagues of determining the minister is guilty without proper check.
“The minister called me this morning; he was alarmed and upset and shocked. He said he was just reading something in the papers ascribed to him and that he never said such a thing and he is writing a rejoinder as we spoke,” said Gbajabiamila.
“So I think we should tarry a while because you are accusing someone of lying. Let us not turn this house into a partisan house.”
Subsequently, Dogara called on his colleagues to give the minister sometime “to see if he will truly issue a rejoinder.”
“But if we don’t see that (a rejoinder), then we have an issue because we will not allow this institution to be blackmailed. If nothing is done, we will take a concrete action on it,” he said.