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Passage of 2017 Budget Proposal Will Be Early, Saraki Assures


As the year draws to a close, President Muhammadu Buhari and the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, on Thursday, met behind closed doors on the 2017 budget proposal.
Emerging from the meeting, Saraki assured Nigerians of an early passage of the 2017 budget proposal.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on Wednesday approved the 2017 budget estimate for onward submission to the National Assembly.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, who confirmed the development to State House correspondents, said the date for the presentation of the document would be given by the National Assembly.
The Senate President however expressed the readiness of the National Assembly to receive the document.
He also expressed optimism that within the next couple of days, President Buhari would transmit a letter to the National Assembly to lay the 2017 budget before it.
“We are ready. Once the document comes to us, we are ready,” Saraki said.
He expressed optimism that with the level of works that had gone into the preparation, the budget would be passed into law by the National Assembly earlier than that of previous ones.
He said, “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.
“We are ready, once the document comes to us, we are ready. I think this time around, a lot of works have taken place behind the scene.
“There is a lot more collaboration and you will see the result of that in the timeframe it will take after the President woukd have presented it.”
Saraki said normalcy had been restored to the Senate Chamber after Wednesday’s incident where some Senators from the opposition party, PDP, staged a walk-out in protest against one of their senators, who defected to APC.
“It is 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.”

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