UPDATED: Why I can’t release details of 2018 budget estimates — Minister

Senator Udoma Udo Udoma
Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma [Photo Credit: Channels TV]

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, has said he has no power to release the draft estimates of the 2018 budget.

He said this Wednesday while answering questions from State House correspondents after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Udomo said FEC approved the draft estimates after consideration by members of the cabinet.

He also said the cabinet will liaise “with the National Assembly on a date in which the president will formally submit the budget to them”.

Pressed for details of the budget, the Minister said “It is the president’s prerogative to submit the budget proposals and give the details.

“I will be operating above my brief if I do that, the Constitution gives that authority to the president,” he said.

The minister said the executive had earlier promised to get the budget ready by October, saying Wednesday’s decision was a fulfillment of that promise.

He also said the executive is submitting the budget early because of the quest to have it run from January to December.

“Before now we used to submit in December but now the budget is ready in October so there is a very big difference,” he said.

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