The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL has condemned the reason adduced by the National Assembly, NASS for the delay in the passage of the 2017 Appropriation bill describing as an untenable one which is tantamount to holding the country to ransom. ‘
Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, said “it is very insensitive, unfair and irresponsible of the NASS to toy with a document so important to the country’s socio-economic development as the Appropriation bill. It is absolutely preposterous for the Senate to attempt to pass off the Police raid on Senator Danjuma Goje’s house as the reason for the delay in the passage of the bill.”
The media had reported the bill which the NASS promised to pass last month is once again being delayed because of the Police raid on Senator Danjuma Goje’s house on April 20, this year. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje reportedly said “It is not our own fault, it is the fault of the police because the police interfered with the whole budget process. I hope Nigerians will not turn around to blackmail the National Assembly because the process was truncated by the police.”
“This episode definitely defies logic and this kind of kite can only be flown by the present NASS given its antecedents of trivializing the very issues that are crucial to the development of the country.” The CACOL Chairman said.
“We just need to ask, whether the Appropriation bill exist only in one copy? And whether that only copy was only in Goje’s possession? Whether other members of the Appropriation Committee, particularly the Secretary do not have copies? An honest attempt at answering the foregoing questions will break through the deceit of the NASS on the unnecessary delay in passing the bill while also exposing the tomfoolery of the ploy.” Adeniran said
“Goje has forgotten that he claimed he was working on the bill at the NASS as the time the Police raided his house. We are no fools. Nigerians should also note that one of the ‘offences’ for which the Senate refused to confirm Mr. Ibrahim Magu as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC’S Chairman was that he had official documents in his home, and now the same body is publicly stating that the ‘only’ copy of Nigeria’s 2017 Appropriation bill was kept in the personal residence of an individual?”
“Seriously, this NASS seem to always find a way of clogging the wheel of progress in country for very frivolous and selfish reasons. Nigerians must mount pressure of the NASS to stop its inanities and focus on fundamental governance issues beyond frivolities. The budget is a document of National importance that affects the socio-economic development of the country and people. The present background of economic hardships and infrastructural deficiencies should ordinarily make the NASS to act expeditiously on the bill if the body was not insensitive the sufferings of the vast majority of Nigerians.’ He concluded