The House of Representatives says it is yet to receive communication from President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the $1 billion for procurement of security equipment.
According to the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, who said that Buhari gave the approval for the money to be released but the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters, Ita Enang contradicted him.
Ita Enang had said that Buhari has not approved the release of $1 billion from the excess crude account as claimed by the minister, adding that the approval given to the federal government by the national economic council was undergoing the “normal legislative process” before the national assembly.
In its response to the issue, spokesman of the house of representatives, Abdulrazak Namdas on Thursday, while addressing journalists, said the President s yet to contact the lawmakers regarding the fund.
“We have not received any communication yet from the president regarding the $1 billion,” he said.
“Up till this moment, we have been contacted by the presidency. But we have made it clear that the money must not be withdrawn without prior approval by the national assembly.”
He also said the 2018 appropriation bill will be ready “by end of this month (April)”.
The leadership of both chambers of the national assembly had earlier said the budget will be passed by April 24.
Asked to confirm if the date is still sacrosanct, Namdas said: “Before the end of April, the budget will be passed.
“We have reached an advanced stage of approval. By God’s grace, we will do everything humanly possible to ensure this budget will be passed this April.”