Buhari lobbies Saraki, Dogara ahead of 2018 budget presentation on Thursday


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President Muhammadu Buhari may present the 2018 budgetary appropriations to the National Assembly by Thursday this week and he is making every effort to woo the legislators ahead of the presentation in order to have a smooth sail.

The president was supposed to have presented the draft budget to the joint session of NASS by October 31, but was stalled due to a minor face-off between the executive and the legislature when they arrived the Villa last week Thursday.

Buhari had on Tuesday night rescheduled the dinner, where he played host to the leadership of the National Assembly at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The dinner which began few minutes past 8 p.m was held at the new Banquet Hall of the State House.

The antecedents in budget passage since the Buhari administration came on board in 2015 may have also informed the parley.

There are also indications that the lawmakers were still bottling up their grievances over constituency allowances which the executive have denied the legislators since the turn of the current administration.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, led the lawmakers to the dinner, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning, had after Wednesday’s FEC disclosed that the 2018 budget was ready and awaiting presentation to the National Assembly.

Udoma had, however, kept details of the budget to his chest, insisting that only the president had the prerogative to reveal details of the budget.

He also revealed that a correspondence would be forwarded to the leadership of the National Assembly to give a convenient date when they would be ready to receive the budgetary appropriations from the executive.

The Minister had repeatedly given assurance that the 2018 budget would be ready by October 2017.

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