IN a bid to fast track the passage of the 2018 budget and be able to spend the money on key national needs including security and development infrastructure, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday directed Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) yet to defend their 2018 budget proposal before the National Assembly (NASS) to do so without delay.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting held between the President and NASS principal officers at the State House.
Senate President Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, along with their principal officers attended the meeting.
Saraki described the outcome as ‘a good development’.
Boss Mustapha said: “Mr President has given instructions that all ministries and parastatals should ensure that they appear before the National Assembly to defend their submissions so that we can get this out of the way.
“This is a very dynamic year, there are preparations for elections and we are having quite a number of security challenges.
“And so if we do not appropriate, where will the money come from to be able to prosecute some of the assignments the Federal Government has in the appropriation of 2018.
“So this is a very good meeting; we intend to build on it. It is a confidence building mechanism and it is an interface that would definitely get a new dimension of the governance of this country for the betterment of the people of Nigeria,’’ he said.
On the Bills rejected by President Buhari, the SGF said it was part of the legislative process as it was not everything that the NASS passed that would go as passed.