By Enyichukwu Enemanna
In response to the allegation by a Member of Nigeria’s House of Representatives that President Bola Tinubu presented an empty budget box to the joint session of the National Assembly, supposedly containing the 2024 budget estimates, the member representing Doguwa/Tundun Wada Federal Constituency in Kano State, Alhassan Doguwa, has dismissed the claims.
Doguwa, a former leader of the House insisted that the lawmakers had received Tinubu’s full budget submissions prior to his address at the joint session on Wednesday, countering the allegation by his colleague and a member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Yusuf Galambi representing Gwaram Federal Constituency in Jigawa.
Galambi who speaking with BBC Hausa Friday said, “We checked the case of the document he presented and found it empty. In the history of the National Assembly, such an incident has never happened until this year and this is not what the constitution of the country said should be done.”
Doguwa believes his colleague parliamentarian is wrong, maintaining that lawmakers already got the electronic copy of the document, which is traditionally presented in hard copy before the National Assembly members.
“What people don’t know is that President Tinubu had since submitted a flash drive of the whole budget before his presentation to the joint chambers,” Doguwa revealed.
He described suggestions that the legislators only got empty 2023 budget documents as “baseless” and “unfounded.”
Doguwa clarified that as customary, Tinubu provided hard copies of his speech along with the flash drive containing soft copies of the full appropriation bill and estimates.
“Stop the misrepresentation of facts, we did not receive empty 2024 budget boxes from President Tinubu,” he said.