- The National Assembly on Tuesday said it would not go back on its position on the 2016 Appropriation Bill.
The spokesperson of the Senate, Dr Abdullahi Sabi, told newsmen in Abuja that the 1999 Constitution had made provision for a supplementary appropriation in the event of omissions in the main budget.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there has been a controversy on the integrity of the budget, with the Executive and Legislature making different claims over it.
There were allegations in the media credited to the executive that the National Assembly tampered with some aspects of the budget, particularly alleged removal of Lagos-Calabar rail project from bill.
Sabi said the National Assembly was not unmindful of the plight of Nigerians and therefore urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the budget.
He said: “One thing that is obvious is that we have passed the budget.
“Nigerians are asking what next?
“What is important now is for the budget to be signed.
“The Constitution has taken note of this kind of scenario where you may have omissions or shortfalls of allocations.
“Section 81 of the Constitution is very clear on what you need to do, which is to sign the budget and submit a supplementary appropriation.”
Sabi said though the contentious Lagos-Calabar rail project was not in the budget, the National Assembly was willing to accept a supplementary appropriation to make budgetary provision for the project.
He said: “That the Lagos-Calabar rail project was not in the budget does not in any way undermine the fact that it is a very important project for this nation to embark on.
“So, the National Assembly, the Senate is open if the executive brings a supplementary appropriation.
“We are ready and willing to consider such but the most important point to note is that we want to remain guided by the provisions of the Constitution.