Budget Crisis: President Has Right To Withhold Assent – Leo Ogor | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Budget Crisis: President Has Right To Withhold Assent – Leo Ogor

Posted: Apr 11, 2016 at 8:49 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
 …Says NASS Will Look At What Went Wrong And Fix It
Ahmed Musa
Hon. Leo Okuweh Ogor, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, has lend his voice to the debate concerning the passage of the 2016 appropriation bill, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari has actually and rightly made some serious observations that can’t just be ignored and which informed his refusal to sign the budget.
Ogor stated this in a chat with our correspondent in Abuja where he said that the National Assembly will definitely sit down and take a critical look at the problems, find out what went wrong and fix them.
He, however, said that the constitution clearly defined the role of the legislature regarding appropriation and that is incontrovertible, adding that the Executive can’t really expect the budget proposal to return to him exactly the same way the President submitted it.
“The power of appropriation is that of the National assembly in line with the provision of Section 80 of the Constitution and Section 80 is very specific. For democratic principles and ethos to stand, the Constitution created its own check and balances which gives the President the power under the provision of Section 59 of the Constitution; the power to refuse assent if he is satisfied and convinced that the budget before him for which they have asked for his assent is not in line with his economic policy and which is his obligation to the constituent which in this situation are the Nigerian people in full.
“It will therefore mean that the President will put in and point out those particular points where he is not satisfied to the National Assembly and seek their understanding. The essence of this is to create a proper short cut; for this is for the National Assembly to be carried along from day one.
“But unfortunately, the President has made some very salient observations and these observations will be brought before the National Assembly and I can tell you that the National Assembly will look at it and find out actually what went wrong. It will be our core responsibility to restore those projects in line with his economic policy.
“I am convinced that if those things that they are saying are true because the details were handled purely by the appropriation committee and by extension the House, then there must be some clear analysis, we will subject the whole concept to legislative analysis and find out where those mistakes came from.
“But first and foremost, what the President has done is very correct, he has the right to turn down the budget and at the end of the day his complaints will be looked at critically by the National Assembly and if the National Assembly is convinced then, restoration will be done. But if the National Assembly is not convinced, then the concept or the ideology of vetoing him will come in,” Ogor explained.