The 2016 budget proposal submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari last month, has been declared missing as new report suggests how it was stolen from the 3-arms zone.
President Buhari presenting the 2016 budget to the National Assembly
An authoritative report by Premium Times, revealed that the hard and soft copies of the 2016 budget documents President Muhammadu Buhari handed over to the National Assembly on December 22, 2015 have been declared missing.
Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, shocked lawmakers at a closed-door session, when he told them the budget documents had been stolen as the Nigerian Senate scheduled to commence deliberation on the proposed budget on Tuesday (today).
The Chairman, Senate Committee of Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, was subsequently mandated to lead a search for the documents and liaise with the presidency, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, and the National Planning Ministry on the matter.
Sources disclosed to the publication said senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accused the presidency of being behind the theft of the documents, an accusation rejected by their All Progressives Congress (APC) counterparts, saying it was too early to speculate.
It was learnt that the Senators also resolved that the matter be kept under wraps, saying making it public could embarrass the presidency, the National Assembly and the entire country.
Some lawmakers told a correspondent they are suspicious that the presidency might have colluded with the management of the National Assembly to quietly withdraw the documents after detecting some discrepancies in them.
"Can you imagine this kind of national embarrassment?. Documents that were presented to us with fanfare have been stolen," one senator asked.
It can be recalled that the President Muhammadu Buhari, on December 22, 2015, presented to lawmakers the the N6.08 trillion 2016 budget, as copies were not distributed to lawmakers before they proceeded on Christmas and New Year holidays.
This new development of the missing budget drew speculations that the president had withdrawn the documents to enable him to correct some discrepancies, a claim the presidency and the National Planning Ministry denied.
In the budget, capital expenditure was N1.8 trillion, marking a significant over 300 per cent increment from the 2015 buget of N557 billion.
The spokesperson for the senate, Aliyu Abdullahi, could not been reached for comments, so also was Senator Goje, the chairman of the appropriation committee.
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)