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National Assembly Can’t Re-Write Budget – Femi Falana

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has, again, stressed that the National Assembly is not backed by the Nigerian Constitution to re-write the country’s Appropriation Bill.

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The senior lawyer was reacting to the recent legislature-executive disagreements over some projects in the 2017 budget.

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Nigeria’s Minister of Works, Power and Housing had lamented over National Assembly’s insertion of projects outside the purview of his ministry in the 2017 Appropriation Act.

But the Assembly had also criticised the minister for misleading statements and vague details provided in some of the figures in the projects proposed by the ministry.

Addressing the controversy, Falana said on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics that “You can’t re-write the budget, that is the point,” Falana said.

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“There is no way you can put N10bn or N20bn without specifying, that will not be budgeting because Section 81 is talking about details of the estimate and expenditure. So you can’t have an omnibus figure.

“If that was done on the part of the executive, it was clearly against the law on budget. Again, that is where the National Assembly is empowered by Section 81 to scrutinise the budget and make sure you do not have omnibus provisions or duplication.”


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