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2018 Budget: Stop playing to the gallery, milking naivety of the masses; Melaye to Buhari

Says NASS is not a department of the Presidency
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – CHAIRMAN, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Dino Melaye, APC, Kogi West, Thursday took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that he should stop playing to the gallery and milking the naivety of the masses on the issue.

Melaye in his reaction to President Buhari’ s lamentation and outright displeasure on the 2018 Appropriation bill before he finally signed it into law, said that the President should halt what he described as his chicanery and smear campaign of the National Assembly.

In a statement Thursday which he made available to Journalists, Senator Melaye who noted that the National Assembly is not a department of the Presidency, said, “I notice that President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) is trying to whip up sentiments against the National Assembly again by alleging that the 2018 budget was padded.

“What the President is authorised to do constitutionally is to present the National Assembly with a bill. A bill is a work in progress and not the finished work. The reason the Constitution directs the Bill to be submitted to the National Assembly is that it expects the National Assembly to vet it and make inputs into such a Bill before passing it as the Appropriation Act.

“The National Assembly is not just expected to rubber stamp whatever Bill the President presents. If this was the norm then there would have been no need for the Constitution to direct that the Bill be submitted to the National Assembly in the first place.

“Mr. President should therefore refrain from playing to the gallery and milking the naivety of the masses on the issue.

“In any event, he reserves the prerogative of refusing to append his signature to the Bill passed if it meets with his displeasure. He is also free to return the Bill to the N/A unsigned with a note indicating his areas of disaffection.

“Therefore Mr. President should halt his chicanery and smear campaign of the National Assembly.

“I also ask, in the last three years of this administration: What has been the percentage of implementation of capital budget?

“The powers and authority of the National Assembly can not be eroded by the presidency. The National Assembly is not a department of the Presidency.”

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