The All Progressives Congress (APC), on Sunday, said it is considering going to court for a clear interpretation of the role of the National Assembly in the passage of the nation’s budget.
The party’s position was contained in a statement signed by its National Vice Chairman (South-South), Prince Hilliard Eta, and made available to journalists in Abuja.
The party in the statement expressed displeasure with the lawmakers’ handling of the 2016 Budget, and accused the National Assembly of going beyond her brief by unnecessarily tinkering with the budget when its constitutional duty was mainly supervisory.
In lashing at the lawmakers, the APC, particularly expressed disappointment at the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin for “directly supervising and even actively abetting such debauchery.”
Eta, in the statement, described the deletion of Lagos-Calabar rail track from the 2016 Budget by the National Assembly as a display of depraved indifference to the welfare of Nigerians.
“The arbitrary removal of the Lagos – Calabar rail track by the National Assembly from the 2016 budget is a display of depraved indifference to the welfare of Nigerians. The deletion is not just arbitrary; it is a big disservice to the people of Nigeria, particularly the South South zone which the proposed railway track would have traversed.
“Also, the total rehabilitation of the collapsed and terrible Calabar – Odukpani –Itu – Ikot Ekpene federal highway which was allotted N6bn by the federal government in the budget, was doctored and almost N5bn removed and re-allocated to a non-existent project in the constituency of the Chairman of the House of Representatives Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, in Kano State.
“By these two acts, the Senate and House of Representatives displayed the astonishing contempt in which they hold Nigerians. The National Assembly exists to ensure that Nigerians get the best from their government using the instrument of purposeful legislation, but the 8th Assembly by this budget padding debacle has not only brought itself to ridicule, it has also proved itself unworthy of the trust and confidence of Nigerians”, the party said.
While demanding that the budget be reverted, the APC threatened that “we shall approach the courts of the land for a clear interpretation of the role of the National Assembly in the passing of the National Budget as it is evident that it overstepped its bounds by unnecessarily tinkering with the budget when its constitutional duty is mainly supervisory.”